This month I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, on a church mission trip. We did a little sightseeing, and the top photo is of Palenque; a Mayan archaeological site in the jungle or selva region of the state.
We also visited INESIN, a Mexican Civil Association that was established in the mid 1990s with help from Illinois Mayan Ministries. INESIN is developing their facilities, and pictured above is a house that is being built on the property. The plan is to develop their facility for use by visitors both from Mexico and abroad as a retreat center. In this way they plan to become ever more self sustaining.
We touched base with old friends and partners. Here we are in a restaurant in San Cristobal de las Casas. We are, left to right, Sister Clement, Gail Oneal, Sister Lucy, Paula Bidle, Michael Swartz and Carol Merriman. Sister Lucy has been a partner to us since our work began with the Guatemalan Refugees who fled north across the border into Mexico in the 1980s. She has also visited with us in Illinois on several occasions.
This last photo is of the real heart of our journey. We met with some of the leadership of INESIN at a retreat center near Tuxtla Guiterrez for three days to strategize about the future. Here pictured in Martin, Natan and Erindira. This planning meeting is a follow up on a meeting three years ago in Cuernavaca. We looked at how we can continue to work together as ecumenical partners to seek peace and reconciliation in Chiapas, which is a troubled area.

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