Latin America

Colombia. An Uneasy Peace.

Since the ratification of the historic Peace Accord between the then President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia) Rodrigo Londono, (24 November 2016), peace has made little progress in the country. Lights and clouds overlap in an ever more difficult journey. The positive lights that encourage hope, despite…

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Colombia. The loss of an elder among indigenous communities.

Elderly people are the preservers of the historical memory of a community and the carriers of medical knowledge and the secrets of the jungle. A reflection on the threat posed by the Coronavirus pandemic in the Amazon. The telling of stories passed down from generation to generation is a primary form of wisdom communication among…

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Andean Calendar. The celebration of the Sun.

The Andean calendar is based on the observation of the sky. It is a luni-solar calendar, which tracks both the moon and the sun. The Andean calendar is divided into thirteen cycles of time made of 28 days each, with four weeks of seven days corresponding to the four lunar phases. In total 364 days…

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Mexico. Pre-Hispanic city of Uxmal.

The ancient pre-Hispanic city of Uxmal and its three surrounding sites: Kabhá, Labná and Sayil admirably demonstrate the social and economic structure of late Maya society. One of the great mysteries of humanity is the sudden disappearance of the extraordinary Mayan civilization at the end of the eleventh century which would contribute so much to…

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Bolivia. To Be A Church along the River.

After the Special Synod for the Pan-Amazon region, and the Post-Synod Exhortation “Querida Amazonia”, work now reaches the heart of the pastoral impetus. Monsignor Eugenio Coter, Bishop of the Pando diocese in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon talked with us about it. “As for the next few months, we are already thinking about how…

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Bolivia. Rainmaking Ritual.

Quechuas perform a special ritual to ask for rain to the God of life. According to the narration of the old people of the K’isi k’isi community, in the department of Ouro in the south of the country, the custom of performing the ritual to ask for rain dates back to ancient times. That is…

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Bolivia. Yanantin. The principle of harmony.

Andeans believe that everything in the universe has a complementary half, and at every level, things are bonded as pairs. The Yanantin principle preaches harmony among all beings of the Andean Pacha. In the Andean worldview everything has a pair, and the pairs are opposites. The pairs, although they are opposites, don’t threaten one another;…

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Bolivia. The Corn Festival.

Sara Raymi is the feast of corn celebrated by the Andean people. A blessing from the God of life in response to the work of men. Sara is a Quechua word that means corn. Raymi means festival. Sara Raymi is the term with which Andean people refer to the festival of corn or the festival…

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‘Querida Amazonia’. Looking far.

The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis, Querida Amazonia, was presented on 12 February. Let’s give a key to understanding its significance. Dreams constitute a special literary genre, which can be also found in the Bible, both, night dreams by which God communicates with the faithful, and daytime dreams which manifest deep desires…

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Brazil. The Magic and Colour of Movement.

A school of dance for the blind, the only one of its kind in the world, located in the outskirts of São Paolo. The challenge of a young woman. Innovative methods. Working against prejudice. A liberating dance. “I have learned to cover my eyes and open my heart”. On the tips of her toes she…

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Bolivia. Jaqichasiña: the Aymara Wedding.

The Aymara wedding ceremony is a social ritual in which all the community takes part.  After this rite the individual is afforded a different social status, hence the couple becomes an integral part of its community and is committed to offering it its support and collaboration. In the Andean Aymara world, jaqi (personhood) is not…

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Mexico. Masks, Carnival Faces.

Carnival is celebrated by dancing in the streets, in many Mexican towns. It is a colourful feast characterized by the typical holiday hustle and bustle, dances, music, and masks of course. The dance groups of the south of Tlaxcala perform the Dance of Chivarrudo. These dancers are representative of the lower-class mestizo cowboys who were…

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Money as a mission.

St. Basil the Great, in the 4th century would call money ‘the devil’s dung,’  an epithet reused by Pope Francis last year. Oscar Wilde said…

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The Hare, the Hippo and the Fire.

The hare and the hippo were great friends. They walked together in the veld and visited each other in their homes. The hippo was very proud…

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Youth & Mission

The Virus of Racism.

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is…

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