PROVAC's Central American meeting in Costa Rica: Building work, wishes and dreams 

By Álvaro Rodríguez Rojas

Costa Rican Animation Team

The Central American meeting of the vocational project "Descubre tu Camino" (PROVAC) took place from the 14th to the 16th of July. This meeting was held at the Spiritual Exercises House in San José, Costa Rica, with the main objective of evaluating the past year and planning the animation and formation activities for the period 2023-2024.

This retreat house, administered by the Claretian missionaries, has become the meeting place of the animation group of Costa Rica.

The event was attended by members of the teams of Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador and Costa Rica. It is worth mentioning that the last meeting was held in Guatemala the previous year.

On this occasion, the participants had a busy agenda in order to show their projects at local and regional level.

During the first day, the participants had the opportunity to learn about some of the main guidelines reflected during the last General Assembly celebrated in Quebec. In the afternoon, the participants had the opportunity to interact and play some games to get to know each other better.
A few hours later, the space was given over for a movie night among the participants.

The 15th was the moment to get to know the regional and local evaluation of the different teams. As it usually happens in this kind of evaluations, the participants had the space to express their ideas and the impact of the dynamics implemented during the last year of activity.

Pedro Emilio Ramirez p.m.é, who is a member of the Central Council and a member of the SAM (Missionary Animation Service), presided over the community Eucharist.

Among the celebrants there was an air of friendship and fraternity typical of the charism of the SME. 

This was followed by a time of conviviality among the participants, in which they were able to share through various activities and cultural performances.

On the last day, some projections of the local work that will be carried out by each of the missionary animation teams in Central America during the period 2023-2024 were presented.

Some participants, such as Marvin Vázquez (Honduras) expressed their views on their participation in the meeting.

"We met in Costa Rica to review our journey during the past year 2022-2023. Each team presented its strengths, challenges and hopes, and the steps we have taken in the growth of the different teams and in the response to young people with vocational interests in the countries where the vocational project is present: Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador," shared Vasquez.

Among the points mentioned by Vázquez are the openness and at the same time the hermeticism of certain local churches in order to be able to carry out formation and missionary animation activities in Central America.

"We have the support of some local churches where we have knocked on doors. And at the same time, we have challenges in other contexts where our action is more restricted due to the absence of a priest from the Society, as in the case of Guatemala and Costa Rica. This year we have had the presence of the team from El Salvador, we have been able to complete some cycles", concluded Vázquez. 

The activity ended with an air of hope, good wishes and illusion, practising dialogue, listening and participation, overcoming the usual tensions that occur at the time of decision-making between different work teams.

It should be noted that next year the methodology of this meeting will take place in El Salvador, a land of martyrdom and missionary witness.  


Photos: Elsa Izaguirre.