By Sr. Katty Huanuco, CCVI
I asked curiously, “What does Tonatzin mean?” and one of the women lovingly told me, “Tonatzin is a Nahuat word that means ‘our mother,’ and is also a way of naming the ‘morenita: Our Lady of Guadalupe.’ How beautiful! “So, we are sisters,” I told them, and they responded to me, “Yes, we are a family!”
I was surrounded by innovative, strong, brave women, full of a spirituality that makes all the difference. These are the women of the Tonatzin Center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexcio. In meetings and reunions they gather to share the Word of God, develop activities for personal formation, share their worries, plant, heal, help, and organize themselves in order to improve their quality of life, as well as share delicious food together. Many of the women bring fruit from the trees which they planted one day, and in each gathering they enjoy it together.
The creative colors in their sisterhood spaces, the beautiful smiles, the honest looks, the brave words… in reality being with them for a few days – just a few days – has been a true learning experience for me in what I long to achieve and see in more women.
Some of the participants in the Center have been there for 15 years, others perhaps just 3, but all of the women have the same strength as that first day in order to continue weaving together hope in a city that is so known for its violence against women. They, without a doubt, are women of peace and hope.
Through these few paragraphs I have shared, I would like to thank each one, and especially Sr. Petra Peña, CCVI and Sr. Angie Acosta, CCVI for sharing so generously the CCVI charism and spirituality…
Your energy, creativity, work, and hope have inspired me to be more like the ‘Tonatzin Center’ and create spaces where every woman feels loved, respected, powerful, and free.