2023-03-14 BRAZIL

Lavalla200> Community in Tabatinga

The Lavalla200> Community in Tabatinga, Brazil, is made up of Br Luke Fong (Fiji Islands), Br Altenir Pimentel (Brazil), a married couple Laura Patricia de la Maza Borja (Mexico) and Marcio Sampaio de Paula (Brazil), and Maria Alejandra Castellanos (Guatemala).

The project of our International Community centres on the Marist Social Centre “Redes” where we offer complementary activities and school reinforcement for children and teenagers. We also offer language courses in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese for foreigners. Also on offer are courses in ballet, handicrafts, guitar, singing, ethics and values.

Work is done in a network, i.e. the community is supported by volunteers, other congregations and missionaries from around Tabatinga: lay people from the Work of Mary, the Missionaries of Guadalupe, de la Salle Brothers and diocesan priests. There are also local volunteers joining the project: a 13 year old girl who is a ballet teacher, remedial teachers, including a retired lady, a young Humanities teacher, and ten young student volunteers helping out at the Marist Centre.

Interest in the Centre has increased considerably since the second half of 2022 and grew even more at the beginning of 2023, following the summer camp held in January with 80 children and 12 young volunteers. In 2023, more than 250 registrations were made for the different courses and the demand continues. The large turnout and the massive participation of parents in the meetings are proof of the reputation of the Centre.

The Centre is running with the support of the wider community. We have received some donations to carry out our activities and to facilitate the centre’s operation.

Besides its activities at the Marist Centre, the Lavalla200> Community collaborates in parish and diocesan activities: prison ministry (visits, catechesis, leading religious celebrations); vocations ministry (support to the community of Santa Rosa Island, in Peru, school reinforcement and guitar lessons). The community is also working in two new local communities: Xingu and María Exaltina (catechesis, singing, community vegetable gardens). We also participate as a community in other parishes.

These and other activities fill the daily life and mission of the community. Everything is done with love, joy and dedication. “Our strength and courage come from personal and community prayer which nourishes and sustains our journey. In all this we perceive the hands of God acting and guiding us in our mission”, says Marcio.


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