Weaving Relationships tells the remarkable, little-known story of a movement that transcends barriers of geography, language, culture, and economic disparity. The story begins in the early 1980s, when 200,000 Maya men, women, and children crossed the Guatemalan border into Mexico, fleeing genocide by the Guatemalan army and seeking refuge. A decade later, many of the refugees returned to their homeland along with 140 Canadians, members of "Project Accompaniment". The Canadians were there, by their side, to provide companionship and, more significantly, as an act of solidarity. Weaving Relationships describes the historical roots of this solidarity focusing on the Maya in Guatemala. It relates the story of "Project Accompaniment" and two of its founders in Canada, the Christian Task Force on Central America and the Maritimes-Guatemala "Breaking the Silence" Network. It reveals solidarity's impact on the Canadians and Guatemalans whose lives have been changed by the experience of relationships across borders.
It presents solidarity not as a work of charity apart from or "for" them but as a bond of mutuality, of friendship and common struggle with those who are marginalized, excluded, and impoverished in this world. This book speaks of a spirituality based on community and justice, and challenges the church to move beyond its preoccupation with its own survival to solidarity with those who are suffering. It is a book about hope in the face of death and despair.
Kathryn Anderson is an adult educator and diaconal minister of The United Church of Canada, and coordinator of the Guatemala "Breaking the Silence" Program at Tatagamouche Centre, a United Church education centre in the Maritimes.