Getting to know, Growing, and Changing in the Community

Already some of us have been mentioning the challenges, uncertainties, lessons and richness produced by entering into a new context, a place where we are exposed to food, customs, and a series of cultural codes that we only arrive at understanding to the extent that we immerse ourselves in its complexities.

Maybe for many of us the exercise of getting to know the community has generated questions about the why, who, and where is the community. It has put us in the situation of having to cross streets to move closer and to put ourselves in initially uncomfortable circumstances, but that become doors for the construction of new relationships, like the opportunity to meet beautiful people like Yinet, Alberto, Tomas, and some community groups like Afro Music…

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Leaders Mapping the Community Photo by: Carolina Pérez

The truth is that we do not manage to even imagine how many beautiful things in the day to day life of a person and community we can encounter at the same time as we encounter complex situations of the reality, of the context, and of the multiple needs in which our communities find themselves.

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Leaders teaching me about their community

It’s valid to recognize that at the start many things seem strange, without any sort of logic and many others seem very cool!; but in the midst of the illogical and the beautiful, we should always be willing to expose ourselves and make ourselves vulnerable and begin to take steps in this journey each community is on.

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Working Together, Walking Together! Photo by: Celia Vasquez

Maybe it’s necessary to open our imagination in the manner of the “Little Prince”: when he asks for a sheep and the man draws him a box, the Little Prince imagines a sheep within it. In the same way we need to recognize, upon getting to know the community, that in the midst of the strange and ambiguous that we see on the surface, within there exists life, celebration, memory and also Pain; when we arrive at this moment we will know that we never stop getting to know the community because each day we are going to be growing and changing with it.

Translated by: Carrie Vereide

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