Santa Barbara to Concepcion

The main road disappears, and we are met by a posse of young, armed officials dedicated to our safety for the duration of our stay in Concepcion del Norté.  Those who participated in our last mission agree: we are penetrating into a  deeper, more rural area of need in 2011. The terraine is a challenge every step of the way. Our van, takes the trip in first and second gear. We're following our supplies, and everyone has fallen silent. For near an hour, we drive through lush, mountains spotted with live-stock and young men, carrying machetes. Some wave to Padre in the lead vehicle.  Livestock cross our path frequently. Disorganized corn fields, banana plants and coffee groves line the way.  We briefly encounter a cluster of homes, but these disappear as we continue on our way. Then emerges a church. And children. Lots of children. Swarming us with excitement and joy and wonder. And we know why we're here.

Posted on August 23, 2011 .