2022-05-18 BRAZIL

Couple joins the LaValla200> Community of Tabatinga as volunteers

A married couple, Laura Patrícia de la Maza Borja and Marcio Sampaio de Paula, lay people from the Province of Brasil Centro-Norte, just arrived at the international community of Tabatinga, Brazil, which belongs to the LaValla200> project. The couple is now part of the community together with Mayra Gutiérrez Márquez (Mexico) and Br. Luke Fong (Pacific) and will be there for the next 2 years.

The couple lived in Cajuri, state of Minas Gerais, and were accompanied by the team of Lay Marists of the Brasil Centro-Norte Province. In order to participate in the LaValla200> project and join the mixed community of Tabatinga, Laura and Marcio followed a preparatory process. For five days, brothers and lay people from Manaus oriented them to the realities. “One of the greatest riches we have had from this moment of formation is the knowledge of the indigenous spirituality. It is a spirituality united to their lives, in which their religious manifestations are given daily in all their acts. It was fundamental, the importance of this constant relationship of communion with the Common Home and with the creator”, Laura comments. (Read more: https://champagnat.org/mundo-marista/voluntarios-maristas-na-amazonia/)

For the two community members, welcoming the married couple into the community has been an enriching experience. “I look forward to the new experiences and challenges of walking alongside our three lay Marists this year,” says Br. Lucas. And Mayra adds: “I hope that their experiences of life in mission will add to the project in Tabatinga, but above all, I am happy because their arrival brings an air of freshness, novelty and hope”.

LaValla200> Tabatinga

The international community of Tabatinga is located on the border between three countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, in the vast territory of the Amazon region.  There are two twin towns – Tabatinga (Brazil) and Leticia (Colombia) – which are 1000 km away from the nearest cities of their respective countries, but without roads.  Therefore, the Marists are quite isolated. It is an area where several indigenous groups of the rainforest used to live; where cities have been forming next to the rivers and where there are people trying to exploit the resources of the Amazon and those trying to defend them from predation.

The LaValla200>’s community is in the process of defining a Marist project with and for children and young people. At the moment, the members are working with several diocesan groups. The community lives in a house owned by the Province of Brasil Sul-Amazônia.


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