A Year of Collaboration

famvin-logo (español abajo) We’ve just begun planning for training in collaboration as part of our National Vincentian Family 2015 gathering in Bolivia. Members of VFCAP will be here to help us. But there’s no need to wait when possibilities exist in the upcoming Vincentian Family “Year of Collaboration.” There are lots of things to be done and people willing to do them!

clapvisurWhat do you do when you need help that you can’t find in your own country? You collaborate! In another province (Beni), the Daughters of Charity will collaborate with the inter-provincial Mission Team of CLAPVI-SUR (provinces of Argentina, Chile, Perú, and Ecuador, and the mission in Bolivia) in the renovation of a “priest-less” zone. The training of the missionaries was funded by a grant from the East-USA CMs.

Missionaries in the making...

Missionaries in the making…

What do you do in a Vincentian Mission when there are no other Vincentian Family branches around? You collaborate! This year, in the Bolivian Altiplano mission of the Congregation of the Mission, the parish in Mocomoco embarks on a new venture. After establishing a catechetical and formation center in Ingas with collaboration of COVIDE-AMVE of Spain, the Eastern CM province of the USA, the Vincentian Solidarity office, the people of the local community, the faculty of the local school and supporters in La Paz, we’re reaching out for deeper collaborative systemic change. In a few days, with our support, local authorities will approach the Salesian Family to transform the school into a “Escuela Popular Don Bosco,” with much more local control. Additionally, the people will start producing all the vegetables we need for the mid-day meal program (and more, to provide an income to many families), supported by another start-up grant from Spain. Finally, we will co-finance a sports development program for the high school which lacks a true physical education program. In 2015, we’ll collaborate with whoever is willing. Want to help?

Here’s what I’m reading these days: Lani Guarnier. The Tyranny of Meritocracy. Thanks Kindle! It provides some interesting insights on collaboration versus competition.

Acabo de comenzar a planificar la formación en colaboración como parte de nuestra reunión nacional de la Familia Vicenciana 2015 en Bolivia. Los miembros de VFCAP estarán aquí para ayudarnos. Pero no hay necesidad de esperar cuando existen posibilidades en el “Año de la colaboración.” de la Familia. Hay un montón de cosas por hacer y gente dispuesta a hacerlo!

¿Qué hacen ustedes cuando ustedes necesitan ayuda que no se puede encontrar en su propio país? ¡Colaboran! En otra provincia de Bolivia (Beni), las Hijas de la Caridad colaborarán con el Equipo de Misión interprovincial de Clapvi-SUR (provincias de Argentina, Chile, Perú y Ecuador, y la misión en Bolivia) en la renovación de una zona sin sacerdotes. La formación de los misioneros fue financiado por una subvención de los Este-USA CM.

¿Qué se hace en una misión vicenciana cuando no hay otras ramas de la Familia Vicenciana en todo? ¡Colabora! Este año, en la misión del Altiplano Boliviana de la Congregación de la Misión, la parroquia en Mocomoco se embarca en una nueva aventura. Después de establecer un centro de catequesis y formación en Ingas con la colaboración de COVIDE-AMVE de España, la provincia CM oriental de los EE.UU., la Oficina de Solidaridad Vicenciana, la gente de la comunidad local, la facultad de la escuela local y partidarios en La Paz, estamos llegando a un cambio sistémico con colaboración más profunda. En pocos días, con nuestro apoyo, las autoridades locales se acercarán a la Familia Salesiana a transformar la unidad educativa en una “Escuela Popular Don Bosco,” con mucho más control local. Además, la gente comenzará a producir todas las verduras que necesitamos para el comedor popular (y más, para proporcionar un ingreso para muchas familias), apoyado por otra subvención inicial de España. Por último, vamos a cofinanciar un programa de desarrollo de los deportes de la escuela secundaria que carece de un verdadero programa de educación física. En 2015, vamos a colaborar con quien esté dispuesto. ¿Quieres ayudar?

Aquí está lo que estoy leyendo en estos días: Lani Guarnier. La tiranía de la meritocracia. Gracias Kindle! Proporciona algunas ideas interesantes sobre la colaboración frente a la competencia. (en inglés)

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A Little Change

Just finished a nice visit to Cochabamba to give retreat to the Daughters of Charity. It’s always delightful to be with them. I also took some time to do Vincentian Family work, getting ready for our national assembly in April.

Just got home, and thought I’d write.

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End of Another Year

mmpro1There’s always a lot of activity at the end of the year. Added to that, it’s the end of the academic year here, too. This year Diego was “godfather” to the kindergarten in Mocomoco, so we went to enjoy their graduation day! We’ve been involved more intensively with education, formation and catechesis this year. It involves a distinct shift in priorities, dedicating much time to specific communities.

Decorating the space...

Decorating the space…

The community that is receiving the most investment of resources and human capital is Ingas. This is our third year of dedication, and it’s really bearing fruit. You remember Ingas — some of you donated to the performance space, which this year’s graduation class is improving upon. Others donated to the formation center and the computer lab. It’s all having a distinct impact.

Cooperative learning...

Cooperative learning…

We’ve been teaching reading and comprehension, study skills, and computers. Next year, the government will provide each student with a small notebook computer that has both Linux (Debian 7.5 — hooray!) and Windows 8.1 (boooo!) and the students of the upper three grades of high school are now prepared to take advantage of these new tools. With your donations, we created a mobile computer and teaching lab, with wireless connection and a projector, all of which can operate on battery if necessary. More photos here…

Missionaries in the making...

Missionaries in the making…

What’s more, Juvenal and I have begun an initiative in a community of the Altiplano called Ilave. There, we’ve begun classes on human values, embedded in a catecumenal model of formation. For those of you who don’t know, the catechumenal model emphasizes the individual faith journey and is not ultimately oriented to the sacraments. Rather, it is oriented toward a committed Catholic Christian life, using the sacraments and other liturgical celebrations as “rites of passage.” Most of the children are unbaptized or baptized in infancy with no cactechesis. So, slowly but surely, we hope to form a group of young “missionaries” who will engage their peers, visiting nearby communities with us. The group of about 30 young people now proudly wear their tee-shirts that say “Nayrar Sarapxañani” (Forward Together) and their Miraculous Medal, which is becoming the new symbol of Vincentian evangelization in a culture with great devotion to the Mother of Jesus. Here are a few more photos.

Our newest missionary!

Our newest missionary!

One of my most delightful days was the baptism of Beatriz, one of our young friends from Ingas. She’s a lovely, quiet child, and never fails to show up for catechism or other activities. The day was a joy-filled one, as our hope is that all of these kids will come to know Jesus as a friend, and will accept their call as missionaries to their friends, families, and neighbors. Your donations, prayers and love make all of this possible. Please remember us in a special way as we wind up my fifth year here!

A short pause in legal studies!

A short pause in legal studies!

Finally, I’m happy to announce that Claudia Jimenez will graduate with her law degree this year. It’s been a struggle for her, not so much academically, as humanly. Suffice it to say that there are many barriers to success that a young person form our zone has to cross. But she’s done it! And it looks like she and Ramiro (one of our graduates who now works ith us here) are an item! Merry Christmas!

Posted in Aymara, Bolivia, VinFam | 2 Comments