The Porto Alegre Light-Network, in partnership with the Art and Education Porto-Alegrense Institute (IPDAE), made a donation of 50 baskets of basic needs, 100 blankets, 66 pounds of mate tea, 220 pounds of wheat flour, manioc and corn, besides hygiene kits, clothing, and shoes, to members of the Anhenteguá Village – Mbyá Guarani Community.
Located in the vicinity of Lomba do Pinheiro, a southern area of Porto Alegre, the village of the Guaraní ethnic group is the neighbor of the IPDAE, which received a request for assistance from the indigenous community and engaged the Light-Network, reactivating the partnership already consolidated between the two entities since 2018, for yet another activity focused on the common good.
The urgency to supply the basic needs for this indigenous community – felt even stronger since the health issue was established and with the approach of winter in the Southern Region-, and the possibility of interacting with these people, a long-held aspiration of the group, were the motivations that prompted them to take quick action, opening their hearts and uniting them in a stream of fraternity, silence, and gratitude.
For Fátima Flores, director of the IPDAE, “to collaborate in the support of this village and contribute to the viability of these people, who persistently struggle to preserve their culture, the identity of which is closely tied to nature, to animals, to the soil, to the sky, to traditions, and mainly, to Nhēnderu [Our Father of All].”
Sandra Calvi, of the coordinating team of the Porto Alegre Light-Network, remembers that some time ago, they had the desire to have contact with the Indigenous Consciousness, something that had not yet happened. “The day set aside for the visit to the village started with a torrential rainstorm, which for me was symbolic; it washed the path for a more selfless, deeper service on the part of the Porto Alegre Light-Network.”
A Unique Experience
After unloading the donations with the help of the young people, Sandra says that the chief, Cirilo, asked to speak, and surprised everyone with his simplicity and objectivity: he thanked Nhēnderu for having chosen his village and says that they are facing a very difficult time with this illness, and that our donations would help avoid their leaving the village.
On saying goodbye, the group was invited by the chief to spend a day with them, drink chimarrão (a mate infusion), and take a walk in the forest, passing by their source of water.
In the opinion of Irineu Strazas, from the coordination team of the Porto Alegre Light-Network, “what caught my attention was their offer, to make available to us what they hold as most sacred, which is contemplation, hiking into the hills of the native forest, the possibility of walking on their trails, where the chief goes to the top and remains in prayer. I felt there was surrender.”