Last night, several women from the shantytown of Pacifico de Villa came to our retreat house to spend the evening with us. They shared a little bit about life in the shantytowns and took the time to answer some of the many questions that we had.
They explained that Sunday is the day when people from Pacfico are not working at their jobs so they dedicate the day to doing work (construction, cleaning, etc) in their own community.
The women thanked all the Canadian women who took an active role in the construction site at Pacifico over the course of the week. They said that this work was traditionally done by the men, many of whom are working during the week and only have Sundays available for community improvements. They said this week helped to show how much faster projects can get done when everyone is involved.
When asked whether the community is safe, one woman explained that gangs do exist and in some places. In some places, gangs have put up gates on the main dirt roads into the communities. The gates are open during the day, but often locked after dark and will not be opened unless drivers pay a fee.
The women brought their children with them and the little ones spent much of the evening running around and playing around our group. When asked what these moms hope for for the future of their children, they said that no matter what, they will be happy to have their kids grow up with good values and making good decisions.
It was a fascinating and inspiring conversation topped off with churros (fried dough and dolce de leche) for everyone.