2016-12-23 BRAZIL

International Communities for a New Beginning ? Lavalla200>

The international community of Tabatinga (Project LaValla200>), within the Marist Region of America-Sur, is situated on the border between Colombia, Peru and Brazil.  The community has been building up to its full complement since September 2016: Peggy Vivas from Venezuela, Veronica Rubí from Argentina, Br Justin Golding from Australia and Br. Iñigo García Blanco from Spain.

Brothers Jeff Crowe and Ángel Medina, appointed by the General Council as the formation team for participants in the Lavalla200> Initiative, visited the community in Tabatinga from 2nd to 9th December.  

Br Justin has written an account of the visit:

It was with joy that we welcomed Angel and Jeff to Tabatinga. The week together was filled with various activities to help them, and us, deepen our knowledge about the reality of life in this part of Amazonia – life that transcends the borders of Brasil to Peru and Colombia. One of the highlights was the opportunity to visit Atalia do Norte, a small town west of Tabatinga on the banks of the Amazon. Here we encountered Diana, a lay missionary of the organisation CIMI (Missionary Commission for Indigenous Peoples), which is a work of the National Conference of Bishops in Brazil. Diana has many years experience of working with communities of indigenous people deep in the Amazon in the areas of education and health. She generously shared stories of her experience with us, which has enriched our knowledge about possibilities for Marist works in the future. Apart from the opportunity to share stories, the journey to Atalaia gave Angel and Jeff the chance to experience the magnitude and power of the Amazon river, and to even take a quick swim! Other places that were visited to highlight the vastness of the mission in Tabatinga and beyond were Islandia and Santa Rosa, two communities in nearby Peru, along with different barrios in Tabatinga itself. Here the Brothers were exposed to the various communities that make up the Parish of the Holy Angels in Tabatinga – a parish that relies heavily on the work, generosity and faith of the local people. 

Further to the various excursions here and there, the week together provided moments of formal and informal fraternal dialogue. The opportunity to continue the personal accompaniment that began in San Martino a Monte, Italy was appreciated, as well as some formal times together to further develop the process of building an apostolate which focuses on the needs of vulnerable children, and is in sync with the vision of LaValla 200>. Thanks to Jeff and Angel for their time, wisdom, patience and fraternal care of each of us.


Marist works resume activities...


Project Lavalla200>...