The earthquake on September 19 shook all Mexico. Mexico City has more than a hundred families who are still grieving the loss of their daughters, sons, fathers, mothers or material goods that they obtained through hard work over the years, and no one could remain indifferent to the hope and pain of the most vulnerable and the earth.
This earthquake uncovered irregularities in construction, precarious working conditions and a political class that ‘debates’ how to lend a hand before the upcoming election results. Yes, there is chaos but there is also a lot of solidarity. In the midst of it all are scores of young people who were mobilized to clean, rescue and bring help to the victims. I saw them determined to be on the side of the most vulnerable. And there they were, by their side.
And anguish did not have nor will it have the last word. I bear witness to so many gestures of solidarity, even in the midst of so much sadness, that turn life into extraordinary stories. In this network of solidarity, as Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word through the diversity of our ministries, we organized ourselves and went out to encounter life with the sole purpose of extending hope.
During these days along with Sr. María Márquez, Sr. Covadonga Suárez and Sr. Ofelia Lozano, we simply went to be with the other. We visited people in Santa María Nativitas, San Gregorio, Del Valle, Incarnate Word University, Xochimilco and in these places we found the most profound relief.
But our elder Sisters went further. They all adapted their eating habits, they gave up their sweets and prayed every day so that everyone will realize that there are many others who are in need of what seems so basic for some of us: that is daily food.
Going through the broken streets with people of broken spirits called me to a special courage and above all an attitude of strong humility. Because I needed to accept that although we wanted to help many we couldn’t help everyone. Food, water, basic underwear, toys and sweets will always be insufficient in light of those women and men who helped, who are helping, and who will help to recover a dignified life.
As I write these lines, I bring back to my mind and heart the face of Mrs. Cecilia and her home, because even in the middle of the disaster, she organized her neighbors to share food, to look for safe spaces for the little ones, to report damages and fight for their rights. She has put love in motion and she has turned it into consolation, acceptance, prayer and so many other things.
I end this reflection more than surprised to be here and to be living this experience that forces us to remember what we are capable of together. I am returning to Peru immensely grateful to all the people who have helped us to be a religious community that is responsive to the urgency here in Mexico; because they know that something as delicate as attending to the life of the most vulnerable cannot wait.
Article originally posted in the Congregational Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creations’ Blog.