Alternative, Fair, and Solidarity Fair in Quibdó

  Colombia Region, Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

In Quibdó, Colombia, within the framework of the patronal feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which is crowded every year, the Alternative, Fair, and Solidarity Fair has been celebrated at El Convento. It has been a beautiful experience in these times of pandemic and violence. It has had many limitations, but despite everything, and amidst great joy, the groups have managed to sell some items. It has been a few days of raffles, jokes, dances, even Father Franciscan Leudo (“Pancho,” as we affectionately call him), who presided over the celebration, came to visit us at the fair and ignited the dance with Martica, our fellow S.C. It was a very joyful moment. The group of Claretian Laypersons from Quibdó and other companions have actively participated in it and in the organization of the patronal feast.

But unfortunately, violence has also been a protagonist. We do not know if the current government officials will be able to control it. This week, the Public Prosecutor’s Office came and took a significant group of officials (they say about 20, who are part of the government cabinet), involved in extortion, criminal gangs, drug trafficking, among other illicit activities. The situation is very chaotic. From 6 p.m., people must be sheltered in their homes, but even so, some are killed in their homes or taken to other places, the same. But the conscience of the powerful, those who assume the power of weapons in collusion with the government, continues their task of extermination.

The Father of LIFE continues to accompany us. It is very regrettable everything that is happening, not only in Chocó, but the entire Colombia is in this situation of violence, as if someone from the highest authorities were leading to destabilize the people, subject them to fear, and take advantage of the consciousness of the poorest and what little the people have left, “almost one could say” of the young people, leaders, and leaders who are the majority of the victims. We are in a moment of great confusion, but even so, there are small “Oases” that give us hope, awaken our consciences, and put us in tune with CREATION so that we continue to be FAITHFUL TO LIFE.

May Jesus and Mary, with the Charism that Claret awakened in us, allow us to remain faithful. With an evangelical spirit, our commitment to LIFE.

Justy Sánchez,

claretian layperson