The Chiapas Mission at Spiritus Christi is for anyone who wants to walk in solidarity with families and organizations that represent and strive for social and economic justice around the world. Many people in the Chiapas Mission have experienced the Corazon de Chiapas pilgrimage, but it is not required. We meet every month to discuss the various programs we support that help the families and organizations there. Come learn about our special bond and help our efforts from right here in Rochester, or plan to visit Chiapas on an upcoming pilgrimage.
Corazon de Chiapas Pilgrimage (“Heart of Chiapas”)
a spiritual pilgrimage in Chiapas, Mexico
"Walk with them… in their family lives."
Since 1994, small groups from Spiritus Christi have traveled to Tuxtla-Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas, to live and walk in solidarity with families in this economically challenged region of the world. What occurs in this very unique experience is a "meeting of the hearts." Participants stay in the homes of host families who,, provide for our basic needs with warmth and generosity. Sharing stories of life's struggles and experiencing their challenging environment reveals our common humanity as members of one family. Embarking on a Corazón de Chiapas pilgrimage is answering a unique call to discover the gift of God's love within ourselves.
Programa de Becas (Scholarship Program)
“Walk with them…in their education.”
LAS BECAS is a scholarship program which is administered by a young lady in one of the host families in Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Nadxheili.. Through this program, we provide financial support for up to 25 children during the school year. The scholarships allow their families to buy needed school supplies as well as school uniforms, shoes, lunches and transportation to and from school. This scholarship is for children in the public school system of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, many of whom are also children of host families.
CIRSA - Comunidades Indigenas de la Region de Simojovel (Indigenous Communities of Simojovel)
"Walk with them...in their work"
In 2009 we began a relationship with a coffee producing co-operative called CIRSA. CIRSA is owned and operated by indigenous farmers high in the mountain city of Simojovel, Chiapas. CIRSA is a trading partner of Equal Exchange, a fair trade co-operative and the supplier of our coffee sales at Spiritus Christi. All proceeds from our coffee sales go to support the indigenous coffee grower families of CIRSA. Pilgrimage groups visit CIRSA’s central operations in Simojovel to meet member owners of the cooperative and travel higher into the mountains to villages where families grow and harvest the coffee (weather permitting)
Spiritus Christi also initiated a project and was joined by Equal Exchange and other congregations around the country to support the cost and construction of brick and cement stoves. The stoves provide a healthier way for families to cook and heat their living spaces directing smoke and soot out through an exhaust chimney. The design of the stoves lend itself to a more energy-efficient way of using wood, the precious natural resource in an area where electricity is not abundant
Presently, Spiritus Christi is supporting the construction of CIRSA's Mushroom Project. The indigenous coffee growing families are now building mushroom modules (houses) in their villages. Here, they grow oyster mushrooms which provide their families with a source of high protein to enhance their diets, and they sell this organic agricultural product in local markets to supplement their incomes.
(Indigenous Center for Integral Learning)
As part of our walk with the brothers and sisters of Chiapas, Mexico, pilgrimage groups also visit and stay at cultural center of CEDECI in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. Here pilgrimage groups learn how the region’s indigenous communities, the most economically challenged in Mexico, are working to protect and preserve their Mayan culture and precious natural resources while raising their standard of living.
For more information about the Chiapas ministries and how you can participate, contact Ritaclare and Michael Streb at 585-621-5435 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org