(Photo: Unsplash/Adi Goldstein)

Latin America: When quarantine “sounds” better

From seven countries, connected by WhatsApp and Zoom. What unites a group of university students is their great passion for music. And an unexpected new friendship is born from a question: "Who do we do it for?"

This year, due to the pandemic, we had the opportunity to participate in several meetings of university students from all over Latin America. One of these was a group that allowed us to share the passion that many of us have for music. Seeing this, I was so moved the day after the meeting that I proposed to these new friends to do a song project together: "Canción con todos" (Song with everyone).

Deep down, I wanted to share with them what I had learned in one of the meetings we had in Chile, that is, to play and sing with Jesus as our horizon, with the question: "Who do we do it for?" At first, I was afraid that no one would reply, but little by little many people began to give their "yes" with a willingness that never ceases to surprise me.

The first was Alejandro from Paraguay, whom I did not know. However, after several conversations about music, we began to share much more than we expected. Likewise, my friends Benjamín and Alejandra from Chile surprised me by helping me think about the arrangements, sheet music and all the details necessary so that the others could record. Everything began to get going. We created a WhatsApp group with a coordinator in each of the seven countries that adhered to the proposal. The difference in languages did not create any problems. And I became more and more amazed.

In the various meetings we had on Zoom, the helpfulness and commitment of these new friends has been impressive. In particular, Cecilia from Argentina surprised us with her ideas for the images in the video, through which she wanted to show, in a more original way, our experience in the movement and our being in front of this proposal. The instrumental arrangements also began to take shape from everyone’s remarks during these dialogues. We were never stuck on a single idea, but everything began to take shape from the collaboration between us, starting from what we had in front of us. Thus, the beauty of the result was much greater than we could have imagined.

We met almost every night for two months to edit the audio, and that time was one of the greatest gifts. Together with Cecilia from Argentina, Alejandro and Joaquín from Paraguay, we began to share much more than our taste for music. We talked about our university friends, families, close friendships and even all our dramas and sorrows. And it was impossible to keep this friendship just for us, so much so that we invited other friends to live it.

We asked Maximiliano, from Paraguay, to edit the video, and he took care of every detail. He too, in the end, was as fascinated by this friendship as we were. We undertook a great journey together, something that nobody would have imagined could happen before the pandemic. What united us most was the desire to entrust everything to Him, to whom we sang the Non nobis every night.

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We placed all our talents in His hands so that He would be "the director" of the song, and He brought out the best in each of us. Quarantine thus became an opportunity to awaken our deepest desire to live. The discovery that it is possible to live like this, with such intensity, pushes us to ask Him to be in everything that we do, not only in the things that fascinate us, but also in those demanded from us.

Harry, Santiago, Chile