What is the height of Cochabamba Bolivia

Sisters of saints
Maria Magdalena Postel

A still young offspring of the missionary activity of the sisters of St. Mary Magdalene Postel in Bolivia is the convent in Tarija, the capital of the department of the same name on the border with Argentina. Four nuns have lived and worked here since 2002.

The construction of the new location of the community took a lot of time, patience and empathy. First of all, the sisters had to understand the life and culture of the chapacos, as the inhabitants of Tarija are called. As descendants of Andalusian colonizers and the Quechua-speaking Tomatas, they are mestizos, all of whom speak Spanish and are predominantly Catholic. In contrast to the other religions of Bolivia, the few thousand Chiriguanos, Tobas and members of other Indian tribes form only a small minority of the population.

Padcaya can only be reached via dirt roads. Very poor people live in this suburb. The congregation does not yet have a small church or meeting room. Therefore, meetings often have to take place at a corner of the house. The parishioners and sisters save for such a small house. Because of their seclusion, the residents are happy about the regular visits from the sisters.

In the nurses' house, the sisters regularly offer homework help. Over 20 children, especially from poor families, take advantage of this offer. The children can spread over two floors and do their tasks in peace.

Sister Bedy Velasco has taken on a special task. She works with the church radio station "Alco Tarija". This was founded in 1981 and has since been aimed particularly at the rural population. The main aim of the initiators was to allow people outside the cities to participate in political and cultural life and also to contribute to literacy.

Once a week she produces a program with teenagers for teenagers. This one-hour contribution is broadcast twice a week and takes up future and professional questions of young people. Since Sister Bedy works as a teacher in a school, she is always on the "pulse of the times".

Pastoral and media work in Tarija can now be financed without donations from Germany. Tarija is always a very popular place of work for our temporary missionaries.