Encuentro 2012!

(para leer en español, haz clíc aquí)

Happy Monday, FUNDAHMER family! As planned, we gathered together with representatives from the sister relationship committees in each community this past weekend for an Encuentro, a kind of half meeting, half retreat. Those coming from San Salvador and La Libertad left early from FUNDAHMER and met up with our friends from Morazán at a retreat/conference center in Jocoaitique. It was a calm, relaxing space, and the cool November weather was beautiful!

We opened on Saturday with introductions and some icebreakers and then broke up into small groups to begin the work of evaluating the communities and the sister relationships of which they form part. The groups worked on some thought-provoking questions and shared some of their findings in a large group afterwards. That evening, we shared some space with Padre Rogelio Ponselle, a priest who accompanied the population in Morazán during the war, and who many people in the communities know personally. Rogelio spoke about solidarity, emphasizing the reciprocity of the sister relationships and the richnesses and insights that both communities have to offer. After dinner, we gathered around a campfire to share stories and songs and to roast “marmelos.”

On Sunday, we awoke to finish the task, and Anita led a very fruitful effort to identify some joys and difficulties of the communities’ present-day existence. By community, each representative or pair of representatives then wrote out some commitments they were willing to take on within their communities and to their sister community. They presented their commitments during the liturgy before lunch on Sunday, amid much singing.

While there is always work to be done around solidarity and love of neighbor, for all of us, this weekend was a wonderful expression of the struggle and hope that these communities carry. Friends from La Libertad and Morazán were reunited, new songs and games were shared, and seeds were planted about conversations and ideas to work on in each community.

This week, we’ll be sending out individual emails to the sister communities with some photos and information from the Encuentro, and we will eventually have prepared a more detailed summary of the weekend’s activities and insights. For now, enjoy the photos below, and  have a wonderful week!

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