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Latin America

Synod on the Amazon. Looking far.

A special Synod on the Amazon called by Pope Francis to be held in Rome this October.  The difficulties and opportunities that this important ecclesial event implies. The first difficulty is that many people, both outside and inside the Church, do not know what a synod is, nor do they know what the Amazon is, nor have they heard that a…

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Drug Trafficking.

The maras are characterized by their particular ritualism, their violent initiation rites and the tattoos that proclaim their own members that make them very similar to the members of the Japanese Yakuza. In the initiation ritual of the mareros or pandilleros, the neophyte is approached and placed at the center of a circle composed of…

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Costa Rica. A Paradise of Renewables.

The first country to produce 90% of its energy from green sources. The development of the electricity sector of Costa Rica began in the nineteenth century when, in 1884, the first public service generator, producing 50 KW, was installed to supply the needs of San José. During a process of amalgamation of several private companies,…

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Bolivia. The Yatiri, the one who reads the sacred coca leaves.

The wise man of the Andean communities, who has the task to pass down the wisdom and knowledge to future generations. The yatiri can be called in different ways, such as jampiri (healer), yachaj (the one who knows), aysiri, shaman, and other names depending on the region and the community. Yatiris are the continuators of…

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Latin America. Journeying towards the Pan-Amazon Synod.

With the publication of the Instrumentum laboris, preparation for the special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, scheduled to take place in Rome from 6 to 27 October and entitled ‘Amazzonia: new paths for the Church and an Integral Ecology’, enters its final phase. The Working Document consists of three parts:…

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Between Maras and Pandilla

The phenomenon of organized crime is one of the plagues that most affects both the economy and the quality of life of citizens, since the cost of violence and insecurity has serious consequences on the GDP with the attendant result of the emptying of entire villages and thousands of Salvadorans asking for asylum in foreign…

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El Salvador. A Country In Transition.

El Salvador is one of the smallest countries in size of Central America, given that its area is 21.041Km². Despite its small size, the country has a high population density concentrated in urban areas. It borders Guatemala and Honduras and is the only one of the Mesoamerican states to face the Pacific Ocean. It has…

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A New President.

In the general elections last February, Nayb Bukele established himself as the new President of El Salvador, thus marking the historic victory of a third candidate, to the detriment of the two political groups that emerged from the civil war, ARENA and FMLN, which during the last three decades have operated in a monopoly regime.…

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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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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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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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Panama. Sombrero Pintao, a national heritage.

The Panama’s sombrero pintao (painted hat) is worn during dances, parties and by farmers working in the fields to protect themselves from the sun. It is one of the most characteristic garments of the Panamanian folklore, and now it has become part of  UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Although there is little documentation on the origin…

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Advocacy

Emigration and the Young African.

Advocacy is about politics and change, values and beliefs, consciousness and knowledge. It is about building democratic organizations and expanding citizens’ skills to understand how…

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Baobab

Hare and the Corn Bins.

In the old days, all the animals used to make farms like men do today. They hoed the ground, planted the seed, harvested the grain and…

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Youth & Mission

Five Ways To Reduce Our Reliance On Plastic.

Plastic is so prevalent in our lives that we don’t even notice it anymore. It is convenient. It is cheap. It is ubiquitous. The unfortunate truth…

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