Oh, how the time flies by. I’m not sure if it’s a sign that I am now old or if it’s a sign that lots of things are happening and I’m always busy. Probably both.
|Primary school children showed up to wish Father Juan a happy 65th birthday|
It was “special” to attend a Mass the other day for Huipi and her family and her schoolmates at the Champagnat High School of the Mountain. As mentioned in my previous blog, eighteen-year-old Huipi was just recently electrocuted.
|Huipi's immediate family was present for the school Mass for Huipi|
|Students, teachers, and parents present at the school Mass for Huipi|
And it just so happened that a lot of “good things” occurred last week, and Mission Mexico was present to assist in any way it could. Mission Mexico supports directly many projects in the impoverished mountain region here, but it also “lends a helping hand” to many other efforts working for the same goals in the area.
|Coca Cola isn't the best breakfast, but these kids in Plan Ranchito don't seem to mind|
Three good friends—incredible human beings—from Mexico City who are involved in a non-profit organization called Alternativas de Vida Solidaria para el Desarrollo y la Paz visited the mountains for several days; they help in many ways, including the marketing in Mexico City of products produced by the indigenous peoples of the mountains.
|Claudia, Agustín, and Beatriz—beautiful friends, living saints|
And a group of women from Ayutla de los Libres went “into the mountains” and gave a workshop in Agua Tordillo to teachers from a dozen villages on ways to better educate the indigenous children of the region. These women are specialists in “popular education,” and they taught the teachers about the use of “generative words” and other concepts of a liberating education in terms of literacy training. The teachers were very animated after the day’s training.
|The women from Ayutla de los Libres who coordinated the teachers' workshop|
In Xochitepec, the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit brought in a gentleman (Sergio) to teach a group of men how to make their own candles. Candles are used for both lighting and for religious ceremonies, and this candle-making effort will hopefully offer candles at a better price to the people and offer employment to a cooperative of men.
|First batch of candles produced by the men's group|
|Pope Francis: "Work is sacred and gives dignity to the people."|
I say “men,” because this project at the moment involves candle-making by all men. The women opted to begin their own project of opening a community bakery, and that project has quickly become a most popular endeavor in the area.
There are lots of other great things happening. These are all signs of hope in the mountains. Of course, since I’m getting old, I tire more easily as I spend long hours on the dirt/mud roads of the region. So I’ve learned that I occasionally have to stop to take a “power nap” when I’m really exhausted.
|If you've got to rest, you've got to rest. What do you think those kids are thinking?|
So the struggle goes on, with its mixture of bad and good, darkness and light, death and life. Mission Mexico is a respected ally and partner and friend in this struggle, and the people here are most grateful to the Canadian “friends” who allow Mission Mexico to offer this assistance. Thank you from me too; I can’t think of a more wonderful blessing than the opportunity to be here with such incredible, noble people. Have a great week.
|A memorial beside the road near Buena Vista for Maria, a mother who was struck by lightning|
and died on July 6, 2015; some of the firewood that she was carrying is still at the site