By: Sister Martha Ann Kirk CCVI
Victor Mendoza, an attorney, the director of the Chimbote Diocese Justice and Peace Office and also a member of the Incarnate Word Sisters Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee spoke to participants in the May 2017 Women’s Global Connection Immersion trip. He helped them integrate many of their experiences and ideas in the larger context. Mr. Mendoza has been a friend of the Incarnate Word Sisters for many decades including working with Sister Grace O’Meara on justice issues. He knew the priests who were murdered by the terrorist and have now been beatified as the “Martyrs of Chimbote.” Mr. Mendoza is currently the Catholic representative on a national human rights committee formed by various religious and social groups concerned about indigenous peoples, the poor, women, homosexuals, and others who are often discriminated against. He shared an overview of various economic, political, and social challenges.
Sister Katty Huanuco, CCVI, the director of the JPIC office in Lima arranged for the group to meet the women the Shipiba Community who live in the hills of Cantagallo, Lima. The Shipomi- koniba communities are indigenous Amazonian communities who have moved to the huge capital city seeking work and education for their children. Sr. Katty works with the women, encouraging their artisan business and strengthening their leadership skills.
About a year ago, fire completely destroyed their small hillside homes. The government for the longest time refused to recognize the community’s rights to the land. But this group of about 30 women have been leading and the government is finally relenting and allowing rebuilding. As we know, a small group of organized and impassioned women can do anything!
Read more of the trip at: https://wgctravelblogue.wordpress.com