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Alongside the Mixtecs – World and Mission

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Alongside the Mixtecs – World and Mission

In the village of La Concordia, in the Mexican mountains of Guerrero, PIME missionaries are building a dispensary and a youth center

Located eight hundred meters above sea level, the village of La Concordia, where the PIME mission is present, has around a thousand inhabitants. We are in a very isolated environment where, to reach the nearest city, you need to travel almost two hours by off-road vehicle and with the rainy season everything becomes enormously complicated.
We live in an area inhabited by indigenous communities mixtechi, with culture and traditions different from those of city people, in many aspects: as a way of thinking, of dressing, of working, of being together and also of living religion. The isolation and closure of these peoples have meant that their culture has consolidated over centuries of history. The parish includes more than 30 villages scattered among the mountains and not easily accessible. This contributes to worsening the conditions of poverty and marginalization in which local populations live. We missionaries have always been welcomed with a great sense of hospitality and friendship. Our presence is aimed first and foremost at accompanying the Christian communities and at carrying out small solidarity initiatives, with our limited means. There is no shortage of challenges. The distance from the city is not a big problem, especially for us who have adequate means of transport. As for the inhabitants of these areas, they are used to living isolated and, in some ways, marginalized. The problem of distance, however, becomes serious in the event of a health emergency, when even people’s experience and natural healing methods are no longer sufficient and effective. This is why the idea of ​​creating a small medical clinic with a pharmaceutical dispensary was born, so as to be able to help people in need of assistance. Despite the many difficulties and slowness in construction and our limited funds, we are trying to make our contribution by starting to build the structures first. Another central theme, which also gives meaning and reason to our missionary presence in this area of ​​Mexico, is that of education. As a priest friend said: “Education and health are two decisive missions that are an integral part of the proclamation of the Gospel.” That’s exactly what we experience here every day.

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Mexico is one of the most violent countries in the world: an estimated 70 murders per day, but other crime phenomena are also widespread, such as human trafficking, kidnappings, child abuse, domestic violence and corruption. Not to mention drug trafficking. They are realities that, even if to a lesser extent, also afflict our communities. In this context, the educational challenge is a priority and an urgency that challenges us very closely. In the villages there are small bilingual state primary schools (Spanish/mixtec), but the level of teaching is very poor. In La Concordia, a few years ago, the high school cycle of studies was completed. But the majority of students live in the village, because it is difficult to come here from the surrounding villages.

For this reason, it seems to us to be an area in which it is particularly important to intervene if we want to promote some perspective of change, starting in particular from the education of the youngest and investing in young people, so that they can have some prospects for the future and do not just think about leaving or take refuge in alcohol.

For these reasons, the project of a youth education center was also born which, in addition to organizing recreational and pedagogical activities for children and young people, would like to propose scholastic initiatives such as after-school activities, possibly with the help of long-distance adoptions. Looking ahead, we would like to welcome one or more educators to deal with the socio-educational area and a doctor or nurse for the socio-health area.

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The various constructions and renovations are currently underway, despite the fact that in recent months everything has been slowed down by torrential rains and some “accidents” along the way, such as the damage to the roof which unfortunately will have to be redone from scratch. Furthermore, the economic aspect is also no small matter: once the construction is completed we will have to think about the furnishings, materials and equipment necessary to create the clinic and youth center. But we are confident. Last December, for example, the lights were finally put on. One step at a time we will make it.


PIME missionaries have been present in Mexico since 1992, where they arrived at the invitation of the Mexican Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph. From the beginning they have operated in the State of Guerrero and precisely in the diocese of Acapulco, located in the southern area of ​​the country, between the ocean and the mountains. There are currently six fathers present: Mauro Pazzi, Italian, and Domingos Tchuda from Guinea-Bissau, in the parish of La Concordia; Ferdinand Kouadio Komenan, Ivorian, and Paulo Amorim, Brazilian, in the parish of Ayutla de los Libres. Father Castrese Aleandro, an Italian, and Hermann Patrick Kpi, an Ivorian, also recently arrived in Mexico and are studying Spanish in Mexico City.

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