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Yearly Archives: 2019

Bolivia. The ritual of potato planting.

Before planting, Quechua farmers ask Pachamama (mother-earth) for permission. Pachamama is the fertility goddess  who presides over planting and harvesting. Then the Ispallamama (spirits) are invoked. The sowing of the potato begins with the preparation of the land. Farmers select a fertile land, which has rested for two or three years; then they leave the…

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Philippine. Modern Day Missionaries of the World.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) take and practice their faith fervently wherever they go, wherever they are. That is why the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines appreciates the role of OFWs as modern day apostles of evangelization in the foreign countries where they work. Mary Jane Soriano, a 25-year-old college graduate Filipino domestic worker, has…

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Mexico. “Until dignity becomes the custom”.

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juarez Human Rights Centre (Centro ProDH),founded by the Jesuits, is celebrating its 30th year. A path in defence of human rights especially in the most disadvantaged sectors in Mexico. Father Jesús Maldonado, founder of the Centre tell us its story. During these 30 years we have been accompanying many of those…

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The Gumuz People, their culture.

They live today almost the way they could have lived one or two hundred years ago, and this way differs a lot from that of their neighbours. We look at the main traits of their culture by analyzing the fundamental stages in a person’s life: birth, puberty, marriage and death. Birth. It is remarked with…

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Colombia. An Amazonian Church.

Rethink the figure of the priest in light of the indigenous experience. Involving the missionary laity. Defence of the environment. We talked with Mons. Joselito Carreño Quiñones, Bishop of the Vicariate of Puerto Inírida.  The Vicariate of Puerto Inírida includes the Colombian department of Guainía and the southern part of the department of Vichada, south…

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The Religious Universe of the Gumuz.

Travelling around the Gumuz region we did not see specific place for worship. Of course they have explicit acts of worship, but these are few and not particularly elaborate. They do not require a specific place, specific people to carry them out, special clothes or a precisely set ritual. And yet it would an error…

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The Gumuz in front of a changing world.

Changes go very fast. There are many agents responsible for these changes. The first is the government and its laws and programmes of development, which in a society that had been regulating itself by ancestral traditions, has a tremendous impact. The Gumuz have been living so far on their primitive farming of ‘slash and burn’,…

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Africa. The art of food. Ancient flavours and genuine ingredients.

From the Maghreb to Southern Africa, a myriad of flavours, aromas and colours. A journey through past and present tells of the rich traditions in the art of African food. Fonio is an ancient cereal that is resistant to drought. It is one of the oldest crops cultivated in West Africa, from Nigeria, through Benin,…

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Women’s Resistance to Mining.

Throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there is no dearth of stories where communities have been forced to leave their lands to make way for government-sanctioned and corporate-driven natural resource extraction. You would not need to look far to find communities in areas where such projects in the name of development are taking place. Communities…

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Ethiopia. Metema, the loss of all hope.

Each day it is criss-crossed by invisible travellers who arrive after placing themselves in the hands of human traffickers, under cover of darkness, crossing the frontier with Sudan along paths lost in the thick undergrowth. Welcome to Metema, a city in the north-west of Ethiopia, on the Sudan border, the launchpad of the migration routes…

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Ethiopia. The Gumuz. A marginalized People.

We have travelled for 500 kms in northwest Addis Ababa. First, it was along the road which joins the capital with Bahr Dar, up to Injibara (or Koso Berr). Then, in Injibara we turned straight west in the direction of Sudan. After leaving Chagni behind, the last town of the Amhara Region on that road,…

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Herbs & Plants. Acalypha indica. A useful source of medicine.

It is a plant used as a medicine for several therapeutic treatments. The leaf decoction is dropped into the ears to treat earache and infections. The paste made from powdered leaves is applied for skin infections. In some communities leaves are cooked as a vegetable. Acalypha indica (Euphorbiaceae Family) is an erect, often simple-stemmed annual…

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Advocacy

Women’s Resistance to Mining.

Throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there is no dearth of stories where communities have been forced to leave their lands to make way for…

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Baobab

The man with seven dogs

Once upon a time, there lived a man called John who was a hunter as well as a magician. John had seven dogs and seven large…

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Youth & Mission

The Future of the Natural World.

We humans, the species on this planet with the large brains, so-called intelligence and abilities and power to change the face of our planet, are doing…

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