Exploring the beauty of the Peruvian Amazon on the banks of the Ucayali River How beautiful the feet of the messenger…! Is 52.7

This Monday, May 15, we have returned from a visit to some villages located on the banks of the Ucayali River, located in the Peruvian Amazon, where the community of Nuevo San Juan is located.

We feel like women on the road, living every day the novelty of a different place, of a different community, of different people, with different desires and dreams, seeking to improve their lives, to be heard in their searches, in their dreams.

We have listened to the whisper of their needs, the joys of what they have achieved, the pain of their absences, the silences of the authorities and on many occasions of the pastoral agents, we have touched the scars that life has left on them, we have listened to their long silences… the quiet and sometimes noisy life, the life that day by day gets up at dawn with machete in hand to walk the road to the farm (field), or at night to set the traps in the river (fishing nets).

We lived moments of fear, the difficulties of itinerancy and of going in small boats on the river, of not knowing where we would spend the night, what we could eat, … we enjoyed the small details, the sharing and the simple house, but open to our presence… we discovered that the plans we had are of little use, because life develops in the everyday, in the small, in the closeness, in the concrete things.

We discovered the overflowing richness of nature, the strength of the river, the grandeur of the starry sky, the human richness, the solidarity made of closeness, welcome, gratitude.

We arrived at the community with our backpacks full of faces, of happy children, of sweat and gratitude, but also of needs, of encounters, of hopes.

Our heart did not return the same, it tells us that we are where we have to be, that it is there where life is interwoven, where hopes are woven, where the seemingly insignificant takes on an overflowing force.

Our feet become nimble and we would like to make real the text of Isaiah 52:7: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns already!”

Srs. Leonor Valenzuela and Isabel Miguélez, CCV