Friday to Monday, July 4-7, 2008

We have very little internet time today, but wanted to let you know that we're all well, and that the weekend has been a moving and extraordinary experience for us, both in our host families in La Esperanza, and in the time we have spent learning about the various projects and activities of UPAVIM.

In a nutshell: we have spent time in conversation with our hosts, and been treated by them to a cultural presentation about this beautiful country. We returned the favor on Sunday! Sunday also included a visit to the church down the hill in Bucaro, and a walking tour of the settlement, during which we saw at first hand the lives the women lead, and heard very heartbreaking testimony about their histories and the obstacles they have overcome. Their hard work and unflinching optimism at UPAVIM has brought dignity and hope, not just to them, but to this whole neighborhood. We are eager to share more with you when we return.

Today (Monday), we're spending time seeing a 'working day' at UPAVIM, and working and helping out ourselves in the various areas of work. Tomorrow, after final conversations about how we build on the deepening relationship between Downers Grove and La Esperanza, we shall return to Sister Parish Center for final evaluation, and some last opportunities to learn about Guatemalan history and culture before heading home on Wednesday afternoon. We'll hope to write a little more tomorrow. Please continue to pray for us - and our remarkable hosts.

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