An RHSJ on the periphery

I have already told you about my work; where, how and with whom I was working. This time, I want to share with you some of my actual experiences with men, women, children and the elderly of the countryside. In addition to my work obligations (cores), I had the possibility of fulfilling my commitments as a RHSJ. Here is one of these experiences:

It happened with a woman named Consuelo, an energetic woman, leader of her community of around 50 men and 3 or 4 women. It is a rice growing community. One day, as I arrived to take part in their meeting, where they were supposed to discuss the problem of irrigation, Consuelo came and told me: «I hope this meeting won’t last too long because I want to talk to you». So, since she was the leader, she arranged an earlier completion of the meeting. We went to her house where she offered me something to drink. She told me she has been suffering a lot for the last fifteen years. When she was thirteen, she was working in a private house. At sixteen, she became pregnant and when she delivered, her employers took her baby and fired her. They also denounced her so she would not come near their house. Consuelo told me this powerful and rich family could do whatever they wanted. All those years, she kept this sorrow in her heart. I had to welcome her with a lot of tenderness and I asked her: «why did you open yourself to me today»? She answered: «Since the day you started to come to these communities, I could see you would listen to me and not judge me». «I can only tell you that you are a strong and courageous woman. After this painful experience, you stood up once more. God is with you. See what you did, all the good you have done to all the persons around you». So, she smiled and said: «I don’t want anyone to experience what I experienced». We concluded the conversation and she gave me a chicken as a gift and said: «I have nothing else to offer you». It was an invitation to simplicity.

Catalina Castillo Ramirez, R.H.S.J.