“It is much easier to begin a war than to end it. And even more difficult to repair its invisible consequences, those stains on the soul that cannot be erased.” ~Carlos Powell, 2002 winner from Nicaragua of the Rulfo International Writers Award in the Human Rights Category
Repairing the damage and building resiliency among those who are working for social justice is essential for peace building anywhere. It’s especially important in Nicaragua where people have been buffeted by wars, poverty, earthquakes and storms for many generations. Those who labor on the front-lines are invaluable in transforming the scars of multiple traumas into positive change for individuals and communities. Their work with marginalized people and victims of violence is honorable – and stressful. Finding ways to keep the leadership strong of body, mind and spirit is essential to the long term life and health of the organizations.
A team of healers is coming to Nicaragua in August 2015 to work with ProNica partners. They come to build friendship across cultures and learn about the interconnectedness of US and Nicaraguan history. They come to practice the “Ministry of Pres-ence” and share their healing gifts.
The healing team arrives in Managua on August 13th and spends the night at Quaker House in Managua. The next day they will learn a bit about Nicaragua and visit key sites in the city before heading to the mountains and Matagalpa. The team will settle in at a retreat center just outside the city where they will stay for several days.
Staff and leadership of the partner organizations will join the team at the center for a three day retreat. The team will facilitate a workshop that includes community building, trauma healing awareness and hands on healing and bodywork. Participants in the retreat can expect to understand more about trauma, build and deepen supportive relationships and learn self-healing techniques.
Upon their return to Quaker House, the team will offer shorter healing workshops in the area of Managua. They will also bask in the physical beauty of the volcanic lakes and beaches as well as shop for souvenirs for loved ones.
The organizer of the team is Bette Rainbow Hoover, a Quaker and recent clerk of Sandy Spring Meeting near Washington DC that is part of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting. The team is co-sponsored by the Meeting’s Peace Committee and Just Peace Circles, Inc. Bette has visited Nicaragua many times – beginning in the 80’s – and is excited to help organize this initiative. She is a registered nurse, massage therapist, yoga teacher and life-long peace activist. She was a member of the first Friends Peace Team to Burundi of the Great Lakes Region of Africa. She spent a month with the Friends Peace Team-Asia West Pacific in Indonesia. For over a decade she directed the Washington DC office of the Mid-Atlantic Region for the Ameri-can Friends Service Committee. She is an AVP (Alternatives to Violence) facilitator and leads trauma healing circles.
Other team members are Patti Nesbitt, Hannah Gresser, Amanda Plecha and Bethany Wright. Their healing gifts include acupuncture, energy healing, reflexology, yoga, deep listening and dancing. All are very excited about the opportunity to participate in the healing team hosted by ProNica. They promise to tell others about their experiences upon their return to the States and spread the word about wonderful neighbors and new friends.