Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mountain Mission in Guajiquiro

We were literally above the clouds (and sometimes in them).
Immediately following the week of formation about 24 of the youth participants comprising four small teams headed to the indigenous mountain region of Guajiquiro, home of the Lenca tribe, about a two hour drive from Comayagua. Each of the teams was assigned to a specific base where they conducted daily activities for children and youth, and from which other nearby villages were visited. Each day of the week-long mission I visited a different base. In the morning we would go to an outlying village for Confessions and Mass, and in the afternoon return to the base for additional Confessions and another Mass, followed by an evening Holy Hour.

Mass at San Marcos.
The four bases were located in Palo Blanco, Guajiquirito, Pasguare and Guajiquiro Centro. The outlying villages we visited were San Marcos, San Bartolo and Sauce. By far the most grueling trek was descending into the village of Guajiquirito, and then traversing the very difficult path to San Bartolo, which involved another steep descent. El Sauce was the highest elevation we visited, very cool and almost always shrouded in clouds; we were told they sometimes have frost and ice. But these communities, like all the others we visited were overwhelmingly grateful for the presence of the missionaries and responded very enthusiastically to the opportunity for Confession and participating at Mass. Some of them were very remote and isolated, accessible only on foot (or by horse/mule/donkey) and had no electric power. The week concluded with a day-long Eucharistic retreat in which about 150 Lenca youth participated in Guajiquiro Centro, the municipal seat of the region.

Adobe house on a hill in Palo Blanco.

Evening Mass in Palo Blanco -
note the fragrant fresh pine needles on the dirt floor.

A view of the cliffs between Guajiquirito and San Bartolo.

Confessions in San Bartolo.

Dedicating Baby Marcos (close up below) in San Bartolo.

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It was a steep uphill climb out of San Bartolo.

But in gratitude, Don Julio (Baby Marcos' father) lent me his horse Morazan
so I could get back to Guajiquirito in time for an anointing before Confessions  and Mass.

Evening Mass in Guajiquirito.

Closing day Eucharistic youth retreat in Guajiqurio Centro for 150 participants.

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