The Dominican Community in Latin America
The Dominican Sisters Cabra extended their Ministry to Latin America in the 1970’s. A number of Sisters have been based across the locations of Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. The Sisters provided leadership and training through education in the communities where they work. Today we are based in two locations in Argentina – Bariloche and Buenos Aires.
The defense and promotion of human rights is an integral feature of our way of understanding, living and preaching as Dominicans in Latin America. We try to walk side by side with and at the service of the excluded organizing people to promote small transformations of the socio-economic and political situation in which we live in order to construct a society where people and communities can exercise and enjoy all their rights to the full.
In Bariloche, situated in the Patagonia of Argentina two of the sisters have opted to teach in public schools and participate with the people in marches where the recognition of their educational rights and the rights of the Mapuche communities or others are at stake. There is also a community centre where material help can be acquired for those in great need and education opportunities for adults who have not been able to avail of primary or secondary education. It also provides artisanal courses for those interested.
In Buenos Aires, the sisters accompany secondary students so that they can finish their studies. This is done in conjunction with other groups favoring educational inclusion and the integral development of vulnerable people and communities.
One right in which we have emphasized is access to education at the various levels (initial, primary, secondary, third level and university). In response to that problem, we are part of a local educational group that promotes the need for new schools and the appointment of teachers, as well as the literacy campaign for girls and boys from 6 to 11 years old who have not been able to get vacancies and also promoting the training of popular educators and training them for insertion and recognition of the different gifts these young people bring to education. In the case of the third level and university education, the problem is to achieve the permanence and be able to persevere to the end. During the last nine years we have been working on a project called (JAC) “Together Opening up New Ways” we have achieved that many have already graduated.
Art as a healing instrument of the body, mind and soul are also present in the groups of young people, children, adolescents and adults who through music, weaving, painting on cloth and handicrafts are helped to see the world with different eyes.
Due to the political unrest and the treatment of women a group called WOMEN dedicated to the cause of the poor was set up. This is a space where different views and struggles are shared supporting each other by reinforcing commitments and saying our word, making visible the role of women in impoverished contexts.
We are committed to the defense of Justice, Peace and the Care of Creation together with other groups, in this way responding to the calls of the Chapter and to the legacy of St Dominic.