Exposure visits taken by participants of the Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management (GEM) offered a firsthand knowledge about economic and political injustices and challenges being faced by the migrant and indigenous communities in Mexico.
On 20 August, GEM School participants were taken to centres for indigenous people and migrants.
“It was an eye opener to see a space where everyone is accommodated. A place for relief for everyone facing economic and political challenges, standing in solidarity with each other”, said Manasseh Musa, a participant from Nigeria, while visiting Casa Mambré (Centre for Migrants). “The migrants were just welcomed in that place as Jesus would have been welcomed”.
Casa Mambré is an organization working to give medical, psychological and counseling services to migrants since 2013.
Participants had the chance to discern the link between migration and a range of economic, socio-political, cultural and environmental factors.
At the Centro Nacional de Ayuda a las Misiones Indígenas A.C. (CENAMI), a centre for indigenous people, participants were welcomed by José Luis Sánchez Garcia, CENAMI’s secretary.
“Today, an oil well is worth more than the lives of indigenous people”, said Sánchez. “To extract oil, the government will simply displace indigenous communities. We try to assist these people by trying to find loopholes in the existing laws in the country”.
The visit to CENAMI gave participants an understanding of the history of the indigenous community in Mexico and how colonization has shaped and defined their current culture and economic challenges.
“If we are searching for the economy of life, the relevance of us visiting CENAMI is to be attuned to the realities that our brothers and sisters from varied backgrounds derive from”, said Pearce Robinson, a participant from United Kingdom.
The GEM School is a joint initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC), World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the Council for World Mission.
World Council of Churches, oikoumene.org