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Claudia Margarita Juárez Juárez, CND and Clara Marina Quintanilla Martínez, CND

During this time of confinement, the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal in Central America have been involved in different activities. Their daily work is dedicated to education, accompaniment (psychological and spiritual), the formation of pastoral workers and catechists, accompaniment of families, alternative education projects, the teaching of preventive and alternative health strategies.

The CND sisters have sought and continue seeking different ways (some new and unexplored by them) to continue accompanying in an effective and supportive way the people whom they accompany daily.

Their work for the educational program “Maestro en Casa” continues. This distance learning project had to be adapted during this time of quarantine. Reaching out to low-income students is not an easy task; they do not all have the technological means required to follow the classes. Nevertheless, they continue searching for ways to reach them, so as not to exclude anyone (Santa Bárbara, Honduras).
The sisters have dedicated time to the “virtual” accompaniment of those in need, either due to vulnerable emotional situations or for other types of therapies. Time is also dedicated to community and personal prayer, often done by telephone. All in all, their time is well spent. They have created “virtual celebrations,” sharing the faith in their parishes with different people, visiting people in need (taking all the necessary precautions), to ensure their well-being.

The constant creation of videos and video calls, to continue formation, to connect with people, but above all, to share hope and enthusiasm, is practically a daily reality for them.

Work accompanying those with major economic problems who cannot meet their basic needs has become a major concern of the sisters. Unfortunately, Central American countries have problems of exclusion, discrimination, poverty, corruption, exploitation, unemployment, poor distribution of wealth, etc. All these situations mean that the time of quarantine and closure of various workplaces is seriously affecting people. The partial employment of many has become almost nil.

The sisters have put their skills to work, collaborating with those who are able, making masks (for girls and boys in a rural school in San Salvador, El Salvador) or working together with women from three communities, setting up food banks to deliver basic groceries to families, so that they can prepare food (El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras). During this time of emergency, saving lives is a priority.

Without a doubt, this current situation places us in a fragile and vulnerable state. However, it speaks of solidarity, of concern for others, of empathy, of closeness, and, of course, the desire to live… the desire to fight for life.

Saint Marguerite continues to encourage us, the words “Go, I will not abandon you” she received from God through Mary of Nazareth, continue to accompany each sister of the Congregation. Each one of them follows with great attention and empathy the daily struggles (personal and communal), praying, searching inclusive alternatives, and walking in solidarity.

The commandment of LOVE is "ardently impressed" on every heart and every gesture of the good people we meet every day is testimony to this.

 

 

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