In Guatemala, by getting to know the people, living the most striking experiences through each person we meet, and sharing in their joys… here too, like in other countries in this tour, we have the impression to have seen our common dream come true.
The children of Fiori Centre for Education – you must have seen how beautiful they are through our social media – stole our hearts from our first meeting. At our departure we were deeply touched to see them come to greet us and send us off singing “Io credo nel noi” (I believe in us).
But those 200 young people with whom we worked in such short but intense workshops were as great. They didn’t want to stop despite apparent difficulties that exist in that area. “It was amazing to see them cut the branches from the tree to use as sticks for the Percussion workshop. I said to myself: we cannot stop at the seven buckets (to be used as drums) found for this workshop. We added chairs as instruments so that other 10 people could join us and we put together a true ‘Street Percussion’. They played with such dignity as never seen before.”
At last, we had an immersion into the beautiful aboriginal culture of this country through our visit to La Antigua Guatemala and through songs, dances and poems that they offered us at the unforgettable family gathering with the community of the Focolare Movement.
And finally here we are in El Salvador, the land of Monsignor Oscar Romero, a martyr for love of his people and a prophet of hope, which we have been bringing to many parts of the world through our song “Voz de la Verdad”. Singing this song here, in this Square mentioned in the song many times took our breath away especially for our Salvadoran member, Xochitl. We and the audience were one sole voice.
We felt like pilgrims walking in his footsteps, getting to know his people and their challenges as well as the dreams of his young people. These young people with so much determination face risks everyday in the context of violence and poverty, which limit their hope and vision for the future. But we saw and admired their power and ability to build fraternity and to bear true witness to the Gospel even in the most difficult environment.
Let’s hear the voices of the 100 participants of Start Now.
“The workshop helped us recognize that we have a light within. Some of us have rediscovered it; and others who were fearful now know that they can face it with a little help of someone who can encourage them and tell them “you can do it”.
“We discovered that we can be happy even without technology, which can sometimes take our attention away from the more important things. We can do something different, we can work as a team, without being attached to media.”
“In some of us joy had been faded; this project helped us rediscover it and now we can give happiness with a smile.”
“We have to start breaking the barriers and share what we’ve discovered also in our various parishes.”
After El Salvador and after meeting each people of Central America, our lives will not be the same. “Give our life for our own people.” These words once heard resound in our hearts again as well as the desire to give our all to continue to promote peace in places where it is threatened.