“Es un saqueo!” We are being plundered!
With those words, we were catapulted into the heart of the question before the people at our first community gathering – what do do about transnational mining which threatens to destroy Honduran culture, is breaking down basic services and is destroying not only the beauty of nature, but access to water for campesinos and town and city dwellers alike.
On First Fridays, my community (Oakland, CA) hosts Art Murmur – a gathering of foodies, artists, beer aficionados and a wide swath of neighbors and friends who who walk, talk and enjoy community life. But this First Friday, at Radio Progreso in San Pedro Sula, Honduras was quite another thing. High school students in uniform, their teachers, a professor or two from the university, several priests, community members and activists gathered in a salon to celebrate the launch of a campaign entitled: Madre Tierra, Nuestra casa común, Defendémosla (Mother Earth, our common home. let’s defend her!) and to hear two speakers cast a vision for how the Honduran people need join together to bring and end to the saqueo that is the mining industry.
We sat and listened for more than two hours and though there were moments where travel exhaustion kicked in, it was impossible not to be inspired and concerned. We heard several calls to action from both the speakers and the gathered community. There are so many questions. What does the gospel says about transnational mining? Who should determine what needs are to be met by services? Why are some nations and certain people within those nations forced to be sacrificial lambs for the sake of the way of life of other nations and people? There are so many questions but the call has gone out that the answers have to come from the people themselves. Please hold these neighbors in prayer as they work to advance the idea of freedom from mining and as they seek autonomy to decide what their communities need to thrive and grow.