Friday morning began early as we loaded the van at 7am to return to our brothers and sisters in Tierra Nueva Dos. Our morning focused on sharing with the women's group; we did some aerobics to increase our heart rate and more importantly, share some dance moves and laughs. Meghan Grossman was our fearless Yoga teacher, as she shared the many benefits of this practice with all present. She was patient even as a marching band passed on the street - only in Guatemala!
One of my favorite moments of the morning was seeing the faces of the women after we finished the meditation at the conclusion of the practice. Peacefulness needs no translation. Some of the members of Tierra Nueva Dos' grupo de mujeres (women's group) shared how they are offering support to the community, particularly in offering referrals and resources for women who have experienced violence or abuse. They also have started hosting workshops where women can come and learn a particular craft. Both Tierra Nueva Uno and Tierra Nueva Dos host these workshops and there is some wonderful collaboration happening in these communities.
The delegates met their new host families for the weekend and then gathered together to share lunch with Padre Isodoro and the community. The photo does not need explanation - the food was delicious and the marimba dancing was joy-filled!
We spent some of the afternoon as a group reflecting on what has challenged and strengthened our faith. Many shared of the difficult Guatemalan reality and the painful stories to which we are bearing witness during delegation. At the same time, many things are giving us hope: the energy and hard work of the youth, especially the scholarship students, and the resilience and strength of the community.
In the evening we returned to our host families, sharing a meal and learning about one another. For some (at least Cathy and Lisa) we had the opportunity to hone our tortilla making skills. Fortunately our host mother was an encouraging teacher who told us we were improving with each tortilla... Poco a poco (little by little).
We all needed a good night's rest as we will continue to share and love in solidarity with our Tierra Nueva Dos brothers and sisters throughout the rest of the weekend.
Thank you for your continued prayers throughout this pilgrimage. Our delegation looks forward to sharing more with the St. Joan of Arc community.
Lisa Cathelyn and the 2014 Delegation