Humberto Shikiya, Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center (CREAS)
Yakye Axa, Paraguay
Earlier this year, they finally won their battle and recovered more than 27,000 acres of land from the government. Now they are waiting for a road to be built so they can move and begin to build a new life.
“We have lived through fear, desperation, hopelessness, and exhaustion,” says Flores, one of the camp’s leaders. “Unable to work and without land to cultivate to produce food, we have sacrificed our health and that of our children. Some people have died. But we never gave up, and now we have won.”
The resilience and determination of Flores and his community can be seen across the South American Chaco, which is today the second-largest forest remaining in South America (after the Amazon). His story, written by Fionuala Cregan, a young professional working as program officer for the Gran Chaco in a joint program of Church World Service and the Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center (CREAS), inspires and calls us to be protagonists in showing these signs of hope.
Photo: Aníbal Flores, leader of the Yakye Axa (Humberto Martin Shikiya 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study)
Source: Presbyterian News Service: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/2/25/ancestral-land-returned/
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