Petén (Guatemala) Our Lady of Guadalupe Community of the Central American Province of the Holy Savior, carries out its mission in Petén, a town bordering Mexico, which has a consistent presence of migrants from Honduras.
In collaboration with St. Luis Parish and the Youth Ministry of the town, the FMA coordinate a team of volunteers who daily bring the necessary aid and provide assistance to migrant families.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which caused job loss and the consequent increase in poverty, has pushed more families to set out in search of a better situation in neighboring Countries. The closure of borders between Countries for security reasons has led to an increase of migrants in border towns, such as that of Petén.
The FMA Community, networking with the parish and local associations, is committed to managing assistance operations: cooking hot meals and distributing food, water, and clothes on the main street of the town and in front of the parish, giving migrants a smile, and providing the information needed to navigate the country.
An FMA recounts: “It was moving to ask them for their name, where they come from, etc. We in Honduras pastorally know the places of origin, so in the dialogue we talked about the Virgin of Supapa, how beautiful the city of San Pedro is, or of the Sultana of the West, seeing her smile.”
Welcoming and helping migrants who find themselves living experiences of precariousness and marginalization is a pastoral challenge that requires being close: “Displaced people offer us this opportunity to encounter the Lord (…). It is a pastoral challenge to which we are called to respond with the four verbs that I indicated in the Message for this same Day in 2018: welcome, protect, promote, and integrate” (Pope Francis, Message for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020).