Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dreaming A New Reality in La Montaña

Saturday night…it’s going to be good to rest. Although the thought of having to unload another trailer tomorrow reminds us of how sore our bodies are at this moment.

The diocesan seminary has become the “warehouse” for supplies being sent to the people in La Montaña from Catholic dioceses in other parts of Mexico. The seminarians and I have become specialists in unloading big trucks—just in the past week, more than 100 tons have been unloaded from trucks. The real challenge has been—and is—to get these supplies to the neediest of the needy.

Just as an example, 600 boxes of supplies arrived for people in the parish of Xochitepec; each box is individually prepared for a family. But it took Gustavo (a member of the
Missionaries of the Holy Spirit; they are in charge of the parish there) two days of walking and half a day on the back of a truck just to get here to Tlapa this week. Some organizing and hard work are going to be required to get these boxes into that area.

I went on Thursday to the high school in Potoichan, just to see how things are at the school there (Mission Mexico helped to build it and still supports it in several ways). The 255 students from all over La Montaña have been busy cleaning up, so things don’t look too bad. Their sports field that was near the river was destroyed, as well as a few orchards and gardens. A couple of the students posted a three-minute video about their school on YouTube; it kind of shows three stages: before tropical storm Manuel; immediately after the
storm; after several days of cleanup by teachers and students. The video plays music and has some typed information in Spanish, but I think you’ll enjoy it even if you don’t understand Spanish. Here is a link to that video:


My friends, thank you for all you are doing for Mission Mexico. The people here need solidarity. Father Rodrigo, one of the priests in Cochoapa el Grande, was wondering out loud the other day: if Cochoapa was considered the poorest area of all poor areas in Latin America before this disaster, what do we call it now? After the loss of lives, crops, roads, animals, homes, etc., it just doesn’t seem right to use the same expression to describe this new reality.

However, one thing not lost is hope. The sharing and concern demonstrated by people from all over Mexico and from all over the world—even Pope Francis—have strengthened this hope. I can’t help but think of some words expressed once by a Brazilian bishop, Dom Helder Cámara: “When we’re dreaming alone, it’s only a dream. When we’re dreaming with others, it’s already the beginning of reality.” Mission Mexico is trying to nourish that shared dream.

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