Loving encounters

by Nancy Wiens

I, along with seven fellow travelers, recently participated in the Open Delegation to Guatemala and El Salvador. It was a joyful and educational trip that exposed me to people and experiences that would not have been open to me in any other way.  A consistent thread running through this delegation was how people came together to form what I lovingly call “pop-up” communities — generous, kind and loving folks who surrounded us from Day One and who shared their lives and their stories with us wherever we went, throughout the trip. I feel blessed to have experienced these loving encounters.


My memories include…

  • Traveling with kind, hopeful and joy-filled fellow delegates.
  • Experiencing delicious home-cooked meals and open conversations with the many hosts who took care of us throughout our journey.
  • Being ‘in community’ with delegates and Southern representatives and exchanging stories during late-night gab sessions.
  • Making music, thanks to Greg and his mandolin and all the strong and vibrant voices of our community.
  • Meeting Luis’ parents in Antigua as well as Luis’ activist friend Javier Gramajo, and hearing viewpoints about how two generations have experienced conflict and activism.
  • Learning and contributing during small-group planning sessions at the Southern Encounter.
  • Touring a variety of Sister Parish communities (Chontala, Guarjila, Tierra Nueva Dos) including the brand-new Sister Parish community of ACOMUJERZA, and witnessing a multitude of projects and initiatives to create better lives for themselves and their children.
  • Conducting a 4-station Solidarity Walk at Iximche Mayan ruins (including a Mayan ceremony by Otto), Chontola, Tierra Nueva Dos and Jon Cortina Museum in Guarjila.
  • Sharing faith and personal stories at a heartfelt Sunday service led by Pastor Diego at Ruth and Nohemi.
  • Learning the history of Radio Sumpul in Guarjila and being on air (interview and songs).
  • Bouncing around in the open back of a pick-up truck and swimming with friends in the Sumpul River.
  • Celebrating and laughing at an evening picnic and song “throw-down” (English vs. Spanish) up at mirador El Alto near Los Ranchos. What a view, and what a joyful time.

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About sisterparishinc

Building community across borders.
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