Brazil: Empowering Vale do Ribeira…Ecosocial Justice Commitment

SVD BRC Province

During a recent visit on January 19, Brother Jairo Godinho Guimarães, Fathers Joaquim Rosa de Paula, Daniel Mateque Mateus, and Martín Resendes Islas immersed themselves in the realities of two traditional communities in Vale do Ribeira: the Guarani Indigenous Village Tekoa Pindo Ty and the Quilombo do Biguazinho. These communities are overseen by Father Joaquim (Joca), who leads a dedicated effort to defend rights and implement income-generating projects based on the principles of the “economy of Francis and Clare.”

Funded by the Missionsprokur in Germany, the project extends beyond providing material assistance. Its overarching goal is to fortify the practical training of missionaries, preparing them for active involvement in political advocacy, defense of life, and the rights of the people concerning land, water, and forest. Additionally, the initiative focuses on caring for the Common Home and developing income-generating mechanisms for the sustainability of communities in the region.

The visit profoundly immersed the members of the BRC Province, enriching their understanding of mission, spirituality, and the methodology of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). It outlined effective strategies for advising communities and highlighted paths to achieving the proposed objectives.

A crucial lesson derived from the visit was recognizing the significance of including coordination frameworks, harnessing the strength of women, and involving indigenous and quilombola youth in decision-making processes and discussions. This inclusive approach aims to ensure the continuity of the strengthening and autonomy of these collectives as spaces of struggle and resistance.

The confreres returned strengthened by direct contact with the communities, fully aware of the responsibility and importance of supporting initiatives that promote ecosocial justice, environmental preservation, and human dignity. Importantly, the project in Vale do Ribeira is not merely a one-time intervention but a sustained commitment to building a more just and compassionate world.

The BRC Province remains unwavering in its mission to be salt and light in the most challenging realities, guided by the teachings of the Divine Word. Through their continuous commitment, they contribute to empowering communities, fostering ecosocial justice, and upholding human dignity in Vale do Ribeira.

SVD BRC Province