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Latin America

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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Bolivia. Good Living from Periphery.

Sumak Kawsay or ‘Good Living’, has its roots in the indigenous traditions of the Andes. And it is the dream of all human beings. The concept ‘Good Living’ has spiritual and mystical roots. With great wisdom, these native peoples cultivate their “ability to think, feel and know everything that exists: cosmo-feeling, cosmo-knowing, cosmo-living, as an…

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Brazil. Frevo, infectious joy.

If the samba is the sound of Rio de Janeiro, the frevo is that of Recife in North-East Brazil, where it began towards the end of the nineteenth century: a rhythm inseparably tied to the exuberance of the Pernambuco carnival, which, in 2012, became part of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. The word itself expresses…

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Brazil. Showing the forgotten faces of Amazonia.

Threatened for her struggle against the human slave trade and human organ trafficking; she is a reference point for many wishing to escape from violence and rape; for this Brazilian Sister, the fight goes on. For years now she has had an armed guard and she has become a sort of nuisance. Death threats are…

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Guatemala. The native flavour of boj.

Boj, which originates from the northern region of Alta Verapaz, has a cultural and spiritual meaning to the Q’eqchi’ people, it is served at religious celebrations and indigenous festivities. The inhabitants of the Alta Verapaz department say that the basic ingredient of this drink is corn, which has cooked on a wood fire for three…

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Mexico. Calakmul, the Lost City.

Its name means “The Place of Adjacent Mounds.” This site was contemporary with Tikal and Palenque. Calakmul was at its peak between around 431 and 790 A.D. but it was already an important city in the late Pre-classic, with dated monuments being erected around 200 A.D. Calakmul was inhabited for 1500 years and was a…

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Mexico. Being a priest in Acapulco.

Once the Pearl of the Pacific, it is now a hell inhabited by those involved in the drugs trade and warring criminal bands. Acapulco has become one of the most dangerous cities in the world. One of its parish priests, Father Hugo Hernandez, describes it for us. Saint Nicholas of Bari is a small blue…

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Advocacy

Has People Action Any Meaning?

It is given as a fact that any advocacy cannot have success without some sort of campaign. A campaign “is the process of mobilizing people…

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Baobab

The Hare and the Baboons.

The day was very hot. The hare was on his way to a distant water-hole to quench his thirst when he met a party of baboons…

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Youth & Mission

Pope Francis invites youth to take risk, change world.

It’s two years until the next World Youth Day, which will take place in the city of Lisbon in 2022 and in that intervening time, Pope…

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