Peru: spaces of dialogue for the common good

The Coronavirus crisis is beginning to wreak havoc in the business sector and young workers are becoming part of a vulnerable population with a very uncertain future. In the face of helplessness, questions arise and a path opens up.

The current economic crisis that we are experiencing due to the lockdown confinement in Peru has caused many companies to go bankrupt and the health system to become totally precarious. An effective long-term plan is not yet in place; improvisation predominates, which helps us little, and which defends individual interests rather than solidarity with the people. The need for politicians who put themselves at the service of the most vulnerable, poorest sectors, who allow dialogue with their people to be resumed, and who thus listen to their needs and do not implement ideas that have nothing to do with what is really happening, becomes evident. We need politicians who reflect reality and listen to the real needs of their people. Listening is also the capacity to share questions and our search, to make a journey together as a nation, to be able to move away from any individualism complex of our own, to unite in common work. And as a result of this, to be able to make decisions that are truly helpful in the face of this lockdown that is affecting us all.

I am a young worker and I have just finished my studies. I was working in a private advertising company and as a result of the lockdown, the company has gone bankrupt economically and has had to close down, laying off all its workers, most of whom are young. Faced with the impotence of seeing the lack of protection of the labour rights of young workers, a flood of questions arose in me: how can I stand up to these injustices, how can I help, how can I be useful to my friends and to myself?

I started to talk about all this with my friends, and I was moved by their stories. Many of them had been caught by the lockdown in Lima and most of them were from the province, so they had to pack up their things to return to their hometowns because they could not afford to pay all their expenses since they had lost their jobs. They too have become vulnerable and there is no law to protect them.

Then I had the idea to accompany each other, to live what is happening intensely, what is happening in reality, and to serve the Lord more in these spaces of dialogue, not to be distracted, as if nothing was happening. This is how the idea came about of getting together, creating spaces for dialogue to which we have invited specialist friends to speak to us about labour rights, economics, technology and health. Topics that are of urgent interest to me and my friends right now. Where ideas are born that contribute to the good of all. For me, these circumstances are Christ's way of helping me to realize once and for all that He generates all this because He prefers me, He wants me to be more His.

I am moved just thinking of my friend’s faces as true companions on the road, thirsting for justice; or rather, for Christ.

Now, looking back, I am beginning to perceive the education I have received in the movement, especially from certain friends, which is beginning to permeate my life. I have been educated not to give up anything I want, to have this open, welcoming and attentive gaze, keeping Christ in mind. And I have begun to ask for this gift more.

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Thanks to the creation of these spaces of dialogue to keep us more informed and awake, I have begun to fall in love with the hearts of my friends, with what happens to them or interests them; a desire has arisen to continue to accompany each other as Christ accompanies me. Without asking anything in return.

It is beautiful to see what the Lord has done with us, waking us up and questioning us through these dialogues. I have come to the conclusion that, in order to make progress in politics and in the business world, we need to take life seriously. Because taking life seriously makes us more reflective and critical citizens. And that demands better behaviour in politics and business. There is still much to learn and to do in this regard, but it is wonderful to see what the Lord lets happen in the face of injustice, and when we live the real intensely, as Julián Carrón proposes.

Luis, Peru