I would like to introduce you to the community of San Lorenzo, in Loreto. From there a team of people has started the translation of the Old Testament for the Achuar speakers whom I visited recently.
San Lorenzo, once a small community, is on its way to becoming a city. Some paved streets, lodges and a few restaurants are already visible. This growth is causing the city to spread further and further away from the banks of the Marañon River, where it began.
Datem del Marañón is home to seven different linguistic groups in addition to Spanish: Awajún, Wampis, Shapra, Pastaza Quechua, Candoshi and Achuar. Some of these groups are also present in Ecuador.
San Lorenzo is the capital of this province and because of its location near the junction of major rivers, it is a transit point for many people from each of these seven groups.
A knowing eye will be able to distinguish them by some physical feature and a trained ear will be able to identify the difference in their languages. But whether you can tell them apart or not, they are there. Some live permanently in San Lorenzo, so they also speak Spanish and are adapting their thoughts and practices to that of the “mestizos”. The next generation of these families will most likely already speak Spanish and identify themselves as mestizos.
Many others are just passing through on their way to their communities, which may be as far away as the border with Ecuador, on boat trips of different sizes that can take a few hours or many days.
Why did you travel to San Lorenzo?
That huge jungle represents the home of so many thousands of Peruvians who have maintained their cultures and languages through generations, who today see the mestizo cities growing in their territories. We seek to present the gospel to them, with the Bible in their languages and with quality training for the church.
So that they can see the creator God of their land being the sustainer of it and the ultimate end of life, above the difficulties, sadness and darkness of what some call “ancestral beliefs” that in practice are inheritances of occultism that only prolong despair and fear.
Don’t stop praying for the people in the indigenous villages. I share with you some more pictures: