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"Susana Campos is a La Retraite sister from Chile. She lives in Galway, Ireland where she started a reflection group for members of the small but lively Latino community in the area. She describes here their Christmas Piñata...."

We are a small community of Latino and Irish people who meet from time to time to share our intercultural experiences. We are from Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador and Chile and all of us live in Galway, some of us temporarily, for studies, others permanently, here with their families in the West of Ireland.

In a friendly and safe place we are invited to tell our stories, stories of our human journey in a new land… and beyond. As we listen to one another, the stories resonate with our own experiences and both challenge and encourage us in our daily life here in Ireland.

At one of our meetings this Autumn we decided to celebrate a Latino Christmas with a Piñata especially for the children.

What it is a Piñata? It is a balloon in the shape of a cartoon figure. Decorated with colourful paper on the outside, the inside is full of sweets. During the party this Piñata is carefully held up on a pole and at the right moment the children start to hit it with a stick, until the balloon bursts and the sweets rain down on them!

Mexican tradition says that we are battling against forces of evil, and as a result of this fight we receive a shower of blessings. Sometimes we have lived this battle in our own lives and have experienced healing as the light overcomes the darkness.

As you can see from the pictures, the Piñata was a privileged time this Christmas to receive and share the blessings of light wrapped in different cultures, colours, languages and smiles.

We send you all from Galway the blessing of a rain of sweets!!

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