Thursday, January 15, 2015

We're Moving!

Friends and followers,

CGE will now be blogging on our own website.  We have all of the Central America-related posts in their own category - or read from all of our sites! 

Join us over there!

We will be phasing this blog out (i.e. removing it) around February 1, 2015.

Thank you for your readership and support. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mark Lester presenting at Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

CGE-Central America co-director, Mark Lester, will be at the Ignatian Family Teach In for Justice this week.  The Teach-In is an event of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.  He will be presenting a session entitled, "Incarnating Ourselves in the Reality of the Oppressed Majorities: Essential for Sustainable Development."  
His abstract states: Statistics and studies on the poverty, landlessness, and unemployment in the global south abound. But more important is "incarnating ourselves in the reality of the impoverished majorities," which implies understanding their current survival strategies. When we are able to see the world from their perspective, their current approach does make sense. This is then the key to opening the door for a mutual collaboration where we can discover how we can truly support them in attaining a level of greater empowerment. In the process we, too, are changed.

Thank you, Mark, for always carrying the CGE message of solidarity to wider communities.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Learning expericies in Guatemala!!

We left Guatemala, but here it is a reflection from one of our students.

Now we have moved on from Guatemala, but in no way does that mean that its impact has not left our minds. I hope that I accurately speak on behalf of everyone in the group by saying that our eyes were opened and awareness increased and knowledge enhanced. After reflecting on my time in Guatemala, there are three things that I personally learned; things I was looking forward to learning and others that were unexpected.
                  First, I learned, or rather, unlearned all of the false stereotypes associated with Guatemala. In our small group discussions, it became apparent that everyone had experienced a situation with friends or family that warned of all of the many perils of traveling to “such an undeveloped and dangerous country’, which were entirely untrue. The people of the country are brilliant: botanists, astronomers, philosophers, teachers, doctors, and doers. Everyone that we spoke with played a vital role in our growth, and everyone left their print in our hearts.
                  Second, I learned about the perception of the rest of Central America, the neighboring countries, and the United States. I understand this is a broad and rather intensive topic, so I am not going to elaborate, but what I learned, and what heard both shocked and surprised me, as well as intrigued me. There is an authenticity to hearing how someone feels they are being treated by their government that you cannot get from a textbook or a professor.
                  Last, I learned about the Mayan culture; a culture that is vastly overlooked for their contributions to society, science, and the identity of Guatemalans. The language, the music, the ceremonies, the food (oh yes!) and the stories are captivating. The Mayan people have been through so much in history; from the last thirty years and dating back to the conquistadors. Their resilience and compassion is incredible.
                  As one adventure wraps up another is about to unfold in Costa Rica. An entirely new culture, history, and people have the chance to teach us anymore, and we are all excited for that. However, it is impossible to forget and overlook all of the amazing and monumental lessons learned from Guatemala.

by Aaron Smith

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bienvenidos to our Central America semester program!! Off to explore social change together!

We are excited to welcome our new semester students in Central America. They are 11 amazing young women and men, from all walks of life, with diverse experiences and unique lenses. In these couple of months they will set out on a journey as a community to explore Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Following our experiential education model of experience-reflection-action students will interact with people from a diverse cross section of local society and learn about social change, justice, peace and community engagement in the region, as well as their role as global citizens.

We share some pictures of their first experiences in Guatemala. As part of their orientation week they had some time to learn about each other,  their unique identities, their educational biographies and learning styles. Now in their second week they are each paired with a Spanish professor for their intensive one-on-one Spanish classes. Throughout these 5 weeks they will also be learning about the history, economic, social and political reality of the country. We will make sure to keep you all posted !

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ignatian Colleagues to Nicaragua

A Pilgrimage is the term some Ignatian Colleagues call their travel to Nicaragua. It was a time to build community among each other and listen to a wide range of Nicaraguan speakers, including the Vice- President of the UCA, the Jesuit university in Managua to members of the women´s cooperative Heroes and Martyrs. The trip also included worship and learning about the challenges and the signs of hope in a country that has experienced major social change.  Here is a brief photo journal shared so kindly by Kristina Fisher.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Ohio State University Nursing students learning about health care in Nicaragua

In May 2014 CGE Nicaragua had the pleasure of hosting a group of Nursing students from Ohio State University who came  to the country to learn about Nicaragua's health care system. Their program included numerous visits to Clinics, hospitals and non governmental organizations working on issues related to health care. Students wrote a blog about their daily visits. We share the blog with you all with information about their learning throughout the trip.

Below one of the entry's of student Leah Jackson on Day 4 (5/9/13)

"We departed for a meeting at The Association Nicaraguense Personas Positiva Luchando por la Vida (ANICP+ VIDA), which translates to Nicaraguans living with HIV and AIDs. More specifically it is an organization working towards increasing knowledge, understanding, and prevention of HIV/AIDs in Nicaragua. Julio Ceasar Mena, director of the establishment, greeted us with open arms and an open heart sharing his story and vision for the future. This man was the epitome of inspiration. After being infected with HIV from an infected blood transfusion, he was subsequently diagnosed in 1992 and told he only had 5 years to live. After a brief bout with grief he became involved with ANICP+ VIDA and has since devoted his life to spreading the word about HIV and implementing courses of action for prevention. He was a very open, welcoming, warm-hearted man with knowledge and good intention. I’m sure I speak for the rest of the students when I say that meeting and talking with him to day was an honor". 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ignatian Colleagues to El Salvador

                       Ignatian Colleagues to El Salvador 

On Feb 7th a program for Jesuit administrators known as the Ignatian Colleagues Program  journeyed to El Salvador to explore new dimensions of Ignatian Spirituality. The Program includes a one week immersion experience that brings administrators to El Salvador or Nicaragua. The experience offers participants a rich opportunity to learn more deeply about the role and the specific impact that a Jesuit university can have on a society.  Following are pictures of some of the highlights during the groups stay in El Salvador . 

Monsr Romero´s tomb in the basement of the Cathedral

The Rose Garden where Jesuits were killed
Divina Providencia Chapel

Remembering Rutilio Grande 

Meeting with the former Mayor of San Salvador Mr. Mario Valiente