Hear from Claire Wright, Assistant Churchwarden, as she shares her experience of liberation theology in Honduras.
These drawings are taken from a book about women’s health, written by the women of the Proyecto de Desarrollo Integral de la Parroquia de Gracias, Lempira, Honduras in 1994.
The woman on the left is triste or sad, and the woman on the right is happy. Her family, doesn’t have problems, because she is ‘organized’!
I worked in Honduras, in the early 1990’s, with the women who wrote the book, who were campesinas, from some of the poorest and most marginalized communities not just in Honduras, but in Latin America.
Life was not easy but my memories of them is as much of laughter and companionship as was of hard work and struggle. The project had it’s roots in liberation theology. It was the people’s project and at it’s core was the belief that Jesus was very much on their side as they took action to improve the lives of their families and their communities. Jesus wanted liberation for them in this world as well as salvation in the next.
They worshipped together, held workshops on agriculture, health and the bible, ran a small loans scheme, took on a big logging corporation, and so on. Some impressive leaders with powerful voices emerged including those of Dionisia and Servelia who drew the pictures at the top of the page. The project was part of the local Catholic church however it wasn’t an NGO with a pointy roof but a living, vibrant, by no means perfect, community project with Jesus as it’s heart.
There’s a world of difference between the parish of Gracias in rural Lempira in 1994, and St James’s Church Piccadilly in Central London in 2022, but actually the people aren’t so very different, and it’s the same Jesus.
We might live in a wealthier society but it’s one where inequalities are growing, and where people who are poor and marginalised also struggle to be heard and have a real say in the things that concern them.
Being part of an organization like Citizens UK is just one way we can make a difference. Today, 30th September 2022, some of us are Taking Action on the Living Wage for Health and Social Care Workers outside the Houses of Parliament. We’ll let you know how we get on!