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Friar Roberson on a fraternal journey in Central America: 29 days, 3 countries

To begin, there are so many incredible things to do in Central America. It is really hard to know where to start! I started in the magical Guatemala, headed into Honduras, and ended up in colorful Costa Rica. During my 29 days in Central America, I learned a lot and got to experience a different culture and unique heritage through meaningful interactions with its people. First, let's talk about the food culture of Central America. My personal favorite food can be found in Panadería San Martin de Porres in La Sexta Avenida where our Central America Conventual Franciscans Friars have a Friary. The Panadería is located near the territory of the parish of the of St. Francis of Assisi in Guatemala City, where the Friars minister to the locals. I visited Casa De Retiros Monte San Francisco, a retreat center run by the OFMs Friars, paid a visit to La Antigua Guatemala, and took a day trip to the nearby town. As part of my formation, I traveled to Central America to explore the many diverse backgrounds, different skills, and daily lives of parishioners. One of my most memorable and impactful experiences in Central America was the journey by bus from Guatemala City to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and then to Campamento, Olancho. I witnessed the strength and proof of fraternal communion during my stay in all three countries. There were moments of joy and serenity in the celebration of the Eucharist, the fraternal meal we shared, and fraternal days of reflection. I experienced the simplicity of their life--the care and concern they have for the people around them and beyond their area. They minister to the poor and forsaken people and communities in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. In addition, the poverty of some Central America affiliated communities can range from 25%-60% of their rural population. These high percentages of poverty and remoteness of the communities made it nearly impossible for the Friars to reach them during the rainy seasons. The Franciscan Friars choose to live a simple lifestyle in community and relate to the lowest citizen in those countries which they serve over the years. Now that my 29 days in Central America have come to a close, I am fortunate to say I have made the most of every moment on this unforgettable experience. It has truly been a blessed journey!

Friar Roberson will continue his studies in San Antonio, Texas this upcoming August.

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