In Nicaragua, Another Small Piece of Brotherhood21 October 2016
The experience of some Youth for a United World from Managua with a small, isolated and poor community of the Movement who are rich in their faith in God’s love.
Selfless giving and receiving was the experience of the Youth for a United World from Managua, Nicaragua, during their visit to the small Focolare community of La Cal, a village that rises 1200 metres above sea level near the coffee capital of Jinotega. Armed with some bags of clothing, food, medicinals and toys that were all gathered by the community in Managua, they reached Jinotega after a 3-hour bus ride. Then they drove for 8 km in a pick-up until the road became too rough to travel on. It was still another kilometre and a half through a forest fraught with stones, crevasses and deep slopes that made the trek impossible even for the horses, and the young people had to continue on foot.
“You could never imagine the wonderful welcome we received,” the young people report. The village of La Cal was in unstable condition. Its wooden houses teeming with children were without electricity, running water or medical supplies. There was a small shop in the village with some basic relief-items, a small school with one classroom, one teacher and a tiny chapel for when a pricst arrived for Mass. If not for the solar panels that were recently installed, the whole village would be in complete darkness.
There were also two medical doctors with the Youth for a United World. One of them, a dentist who began the day with a presentation on oral hygiene to thirty children who so happy to use a tooth brush and toothpaste for the first time in their lives. At lunchtime one family wanted to offer some very warm and delicious tortillas, as the young people gathered the small children for games. In the afternoon presentations were offered for adults on parasite prevention. The very intense day concluded with a reading of the Word of Life, a deep spiritual moment that enveloped everyone. We were all very moved when an elderly man wished to give his blessing to the young people. This was followed by the distribution of goods that the young people had brought for them.
They were offered an ex-chicken coop to sleep in that night. “It was so moving for us,” they write, “to spend the night in an ex-chicken coop just like the men in the first focolare whose house was an ex-chicken coop. In the morning, after a good breakfast that had been prepared by the women of the village, we were invited to return again soon and left for Jinotega. We went to the cathedral to thank God for the experience that had changed us so much, that had allowed us know such generous people who live their daily struggle with such dignity and joy of knowing God’s immense love for them – and for having had constructed in the midst of those mountains another small piece of universal brotherhood.”