Yesterday, we went to visit Luz y Libertad (Light and Liberty)- a woman's Catholic group focused on bringing justice to the community. Their goal 20 years ago was simply to reflect on the word of God, but they soon realized the word of God demanded more from them-- to bring el Reino de Dios (the Reign of God) into reality on this earth. Even as an agnostic, I respect and find inspiration in their work. The four women, all housewives, offer workshops on nutrition, self-esteem, and crafts to the community without pay and with very little recognition. They have dealt with resistance from the Catholic church for their non-hierarchical approach and, at first, even their husbands disapproved! The students, who study social work and immigration, shared stories about their struggle to sustain hope for a better future, despite lack of recognition and uncertainty about what their labor may cultivate. We also discussed the fluid nature of culture, and how difficult it is to study something as changing and ambiguous as "Latino culture" when each country, region, neighborhood and even family can have it's own customs. Finally, we partook in their delicious and nutritious meal of soy ceviche, sopa de trigo and much, much more.
Randy, the delightful social work professor, and students listen to the women speak about their work.
Some of their crafts.
El sopa de trigo (wheat soup).