Pirats and prisoners - Bolivian style 2013

Pirats and prisoners - Bolivian style 2013

Bolivia, Cochabamba, provincial house
August 20, 2013

On the photo are member of two mountain communities - KAMI and INDIPENDENCIA.

After 5 days in Bolivian province, especially through the outskirts missions like ESCOMA, EL ALTO, KAMI and INDIPENDENCIA. Starting from the lake Titicaca, moving towards the mountain missions, i'm today back to Cochabamba, center. Really a rich missionary heritage, which needs to grow further!

Follow up:

Some reflections coming out on the journey!

At the moment Bolivia is the only American province which is growing in numbers, thanks to God!
Still there are present some 42 senior (only of them are young Vietnamese) missionaries mainly from Spain and Italy.

There are some excellent missions in the highlands (3000-4000m), started some 30-40 years ago by some 'PIRAT' confreres, who try to move towards the poor youth after the Vatican II and after the Special General Chapter of SDB, 1972. Since, they were starting something out of the traditional
'COLEGIO' frame, were named "PIRATS" by other confreres.


But on the other side the Salesians working there are called "CHONCHOCORROS" (name of the maximum security prison of Bolivia-El Alto (Penitenciario San Pedro), a place where nobody wants to move!

What is this presences now? Fully developed Salesian mission settings - from the parish (some where with some 100 mountain communities, in the past reached only by hoarse back), with a Radio stationg (in Spanish, Quechua and Aymara - according the local indigenous language), schools, agriculture or professional training center, always accompanied by some social - human promotion
activities (cooperative - food, carpentry, welding, agriculture) even up to hydro power plant.
Really integral missions. BUT the migration to the cities is the main challenge today!


The whole province feels the need of recover the missionary spirit, there is a need to link more the ordinary city works (not many street children work) with these missions. There are at least
two major suggestions shared - make the missionaries share their life experience (ad gentes - senior foreigners AND the Bolivian Salesians involved with enthusiasm in these mountain areas.


Of course, the missionary group in all of our works is a major youth ministry call! The students of secondary school before graduation instead of 'promotion trip' are since 2012 going for service to the mountain communities (without many commodities). To promote this movement as a system is the dream and the best day HOW to rekindle the missionary spirit also among the Salesian in initial formation. (I heard also some story that one post-novice was crying when sent to the 'Chanchocorro' missions for summer experience...

Kami is on the picture - two senior Piedmontese missionaries with two practical trainees, one deacon and rector of Indipendencia (place where the Bolivian movement for indipendence started some 200 years ago.

Good Lord, bless all Salesians of this Bolivian province and rekindle in their hearts the spirit of your DISCIPLES and MISSIONARIES!

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