In a humble tin structure that serves as the templo (sanctuary) in Carmen Grande, Manuel and his older brother begin to sing in beautiful harmony, accompanied by their guitars.
In the far south of Mexico, in the rural state of Chiapas, the future is bleak for young men and boys. Land is essential for survival, and poor, indigenous families own little land. Subsistence farming is the norm; families grow beans and corn and raise chickens and hogs. Between growing seasons, many men head to El Norte (the north) to work in northern Mexico or the United States.
Pastor Manuel’s family has suffered much. They’re a family of all sons where the oldest son inherits land from his father – and there simply isn’t enough land to divide among them. One brother committed suicide; two others are working in the U.S.
“It’s hard,” said Manuel. “There’s a lack of hope here. My younger brothers send money back so we can rent land to farm.” Leaving home is a necessity. There’s no work in the community to generate income.
Pray for the indigenous peoples of Mexico who live in communities with little hope and see migration as necessity for survival.
- Sue Smith, field personnel serving Latino immigrants in Fredericksburg, Va.