Firstly, there is a hard life in Petén, that suffocating heat that takes away the desire to work and do things, the mosquitoes that can transmit important diseases and induce you to take many precautions. All this becomes a small punishment for living life. Then there is the lack of security in the streets.
So I remember everyone in the mission of Petén as little heroes living there, enduring heat, mosquitoes, dangerous roads, etc. I learned of the genius of Don Bosco with the oratories and the work with young people. I found the oratories extremely interesting. Combining human and religious education with entertainment and fun, facilitating relationships among young people and among children. Also the activity of bringing comfort and aid to relatives of the sick in the hospital is very important.
For me it was a new challenge, returning for the second time in Petén-Guatemala, especially in the Salesian house of San Benito in Flores. Meeting again and embracing so many people with whom I shared experiences last summer, it was a great joy, to feel welcomed by these simple and humble people.
Listening, accompanying and caring were the key words of this experience; referring to this year's Strenna of the Rector Major, 'We cultivate the art of listening and accompanying', as well as providing assistance as an essential part of my nursing profession.
I met children, young people, adults and the elderly who are welcoming, affectionate, grateful and also, on many occasions, used to living in precarious situations of accommodation, hygiene, health, education; and this hurts me because the inequality that we live in this 'globalized world' of ours is unjust.
Feeling and touching poverty hurts and makes me aware that we have a duty to be in solidarity with people who do not have the possibilities to develop their full potential. Don Bosco's dream is a reality in San Benito, and the Salesian community works tirelessly for the good of these people.