Our only presence as Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Amazonia is the Instituto Superior de Educación Tecnológico Público (Higher Institution of Public Technological Education) “Santa María de Nieva – Fe y Alegría 74”, which has been entrusted to us from its foundation 14 years ago. It is the only Institute in the province of Condorcanquí, the most extensive of the Amazon region in Peru. We are part of the Movimiento de Educación Popular y Promoción Social Fe y Alegria (Popular Education and Social Development Movement), and at the same time, of the Apostolic Vicariate San Francisco Javier of Jaén, entrusted to the Society of Jesus. Therefore, we are integrated into the Servicio Jesuita Panamazónico (SJPAM) of the Conference of Jesuit Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL) Because of the significance of the work that we carry out, the CPAL invited us to participate in the THIRD JESUIT PANAMAZONIC PREFORUM AND TENTH PANAMAZONOMIC SOCIAL FORUM in Belén de Pará, Brazil, from the 25 th to the 31 st of July, and the community sent me to participate in both events, which for me was a great gift from God.

The first day we reflected on Education and popular and quality formation. I had space to present our educational work in the Instituto de Educación Superior Tecnológico Público “Santa María de Nieva – Fe y Alegría 74” It was very exciting and gratifying to speak about the Pedagogy of the Heart, our way of educating the awajun, wampi and Spanish speaking youths of this small place in the Peruvian jungle, as well as the challenges that we face, together with a young formative community, which must take giant steps in incuturation, in the knowledge of the cultural and ancestral wisdom, so that, beginning from where they are, they may succeed in introducing new technologies, which allow the youths to function in the work environment, to undertake their businesses and contribute to the sustainable development of their native communities and villages.

The second day we reflected on the following of and service to the indigenous peoples, and the third day on Territoriality and Panamazonic mission.

Among the conclusions and most significant challenges that arose and that involve us as
Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I can share (1):

  • We are UNITY, DIVERSITY, and RELATIONSHIP: a Church, an apostolic body, a SJPAN, one humanity, one panamazonia; at the same time we are different persons, rich in works, histories, skills, languages, cultures, regions, peoples, ethnicities, traditions, local challenges, etc. Our principal work as SJPAM is to help and value these two realities and to help to COMBINE our forces; to build networks that will allow us to multiply the impact of our work for the Kingdom of God.

Another significant moment was the Homage to the Martyrs of the Amazonia. This was performed in the convention center Benedito Nunes, of the university. Around 700 of us met for this act of recognition of priests, religious, laity and members of the indigenous peoples who gave their lives in the defense of the Amazonia

See, see dekapamainchau imana nunin

(Thanks, a thousand thanks! In the Awajún language)

Betsy Parra, aci


(1) Extract from the General Report of the Preforo Jesuitico Panamazonico: Belem do Braxil. Del 2 al 27 de julio
de 2022.