Wednesday, August 28, 2013

San Agustín - baptisms, fiesta, and hope

I went to San Agustín today for the Mass for the feast day of the town and the church.

I had been there on Sunday with Padre German for 15 baptisms of children between 7 and 14.

It was quite a joyful celebration with a packed church.

Here are a few photos.

All ages were represented.

Some kids hung around the tubs used for baptism.

Padre German likes to use a lot of water while baptizing.

These kids are called to be light for the world.

Today, the church wasn’t as packed, even though the bishop came, but the people had placed the statue of Saint Augustine in a prominent place.

In his hand he bears a burning heart. 

As he wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

After the Mass there was the coronation of the queen of the fiesta.

Some kids tried to get a good seat.

I didn’t stay around but headed back to Santa Rosa.

On the way back I gave a ride to a young man who is teaching in the middle school in San Agustin. Even though he’s still in his second year at the Pedagogical University he was hired to teach since San Agustín is a remote location. One teacher is on maternity leave and one teacher who was hired quit after two days.

The young man has an interesting story. He didn’t go straight from grade school to middle school because of the poverty of his family. When he went to high school in Santa Rosa he worked in the day and went to night classes.

He had been working construction at about 5,000 lempiras ($250) a month and the original offer from the school was 3,500 ($175). They finally went up to 4,000 ($200). But he is officially only paid for 30 hours of classes, though he is teaching 36 – willingly. He also hadn’t been paid for four months He was going to Santa Rosa with the paperwork to be able to be paid for 36 hours. I hope it works.

It was very good to listen to a young man who really wants to teach.

There’s hope.

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