From October 23 – November 3, Padre Silverio Chum visited the Diocese of Wilmington. Padre Silverio is the pastor of San Jose in El Rodeo and a member of the solidarity committee in San Marcos. He had this to say after his trip: “On behalf of the Solidarity Commission of San Marcos I am thankful for the hospitality of the parishes and schools that I visited.
Also there is appreciation for the strength of the commission of Wilmington for expanding the program of visits. Each year it is improving our partnership. May all the work that is done be to extend the Kingdom of God in our communities, especially between the people most in need. I go very satisfied with the visit. I hope to continue with these connections of friendship and partnership.” (P. Silverio Chum V.)
During his 10-day visit, Padre Silverio visited a number of parishes and schools, and also attended Delight Night.
During his visits, Padre Silverio described the hardships of coffee farmers: the average income between the equivalent of $4 to $5 per day and six months per year without work. He said, “We do not come looking for money or anything like that, we come to know one another better and to share.”
One thing that caught his attention was the presence of young Christians at the University of Delaware, “About 100 attended Mass, and then I spoke to a large group of them, who were very interested in earning more of the social reality of Guatemala. It is possible that they will organize a trip to our country to get the feeling of things for themselves,” he said excitedly.
Padre Silverio spoke about the fight by farmers in Guatemala to repeal a law requiring them to use only the seeds of transgenic corn and sideline native seed. “It was like stop being ourselves, we are the people of the corn.” It was a battle they won after much effort.