Latin American Communities: Renewing Hope after Trauma 

Our Roots in the Ruins Latin American staff is truly making a difference. These wonderful facilitators are fully trained and certified and can work independently in their own countries. There are 10 Chileans and one Mexican certified facilitators. Elena Hegel is certified as a master trainer in the program.

Read a 2017 update about Roots in the Ruins.

Front to back, left to right: Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor, Brookfield Institute, Massachusetts, Alejandra Benitez (Nurse, Board member, Shalom Center, Chile), Acsa Luna (Nurse, Facilitator at the Shalom Center, Chile), Tatiana Ramos (Special education teacher, Facilitator at the Shalom Center, Chile), Mercedes Cadena (Literacy specialist, Congregational Church, Mazatlán, México), Carolina Santander (Agriculture Specialist, volunteer at the Shalom Center, Chile), Rebeca Toledo (Coordinator of Ministry for Children and Adolescents, Pentecostal Church of Chile, Chile), Carolina Ramos (Family Counselor, Pentecostal Church of Chile, Chile), Marta Espinoza (Elementary School Teacher, Shalom Center Facilitator, Shalom Center, Chile), Patricia Gómez (Director of the Shalom Center, Chile), Elena Huegel (Global Ministries Personnel), Rodrigo Martínez (Fair trade officer, Shalom Center Facilitator, Shalom Center, Chile), Juan Carlos Oñate (Electrical Engineer, President of the Shalom Center Board, Shalom Center, Chile

Front to back, left to right: Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor, Brookfield Institute, Massachusetts, Alejandra Benitez (Nurse, Board member, Shalom Center, Chile), Acsa Luna (Nurse, Facilitator at the Shalom Center, Chile), Tatiana Ramos (Special education teacher, Facilitator at the Shalom Center, Chile), Mercedes Cadena (Literacy specialist, Congregational Church, Mazatlán, México), Carolina Santander (Agriculture Specialist, volunteer at the Shalom Center, Chile), Rebeca Toledo (Coordinator of Ministry for Children and Adolescents, Pentecostal Church of Chile, Chile), Carolina Ramos (Family Counselor, Pentecostal Church of Chile, Chile), Marta Espinoza (Elementary School Teacher, Shalom Center Facilitator, Shalom Center, Chile), Patricia Gómez (Director of the Shalom Center, Chile), Elena Huegel (Global Ministries Personnel), Rodrigo Martínez (Fair trade officer, Shalom Center Facilitator, Shalom Center, Chile), Juan Carlos Oñate (Electrical Engineer, President of the Shalom Center Board, Shalom Center, Chile

Retoños en la Ruinas Esperanza en Trauma

Most countries in Latin America have experienced crushing political dictatorships and civil wars fraught with torture, terror and death. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes have exacerbated the trauma. In collaboration with Global Ministries of the Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ, the Brookfield Institute works with faith communities in five regions of Latin America to strengthen leaders and communities:  Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico. 

Community and church leaders receive five courses of training to equip them to help their communities deal with the social, spiritual, emotional and moral effects of trauma and conflict. Leaders who complete the entire training program are certified as facilitators, and are able to teach all the courses in their own countries.


The Journey to Resilience: How We Began

In 2010, collaborating with Centro Shalom, a peace and environmental education camp in Chile, The Brookfield Institute conducted a STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) course to work with families of the disappeared and tortured.  

Three weeks after the first workshop, an earthquake registering 8.8 the third highest in 50 years, struck the central region of the country.  We expanded the course, and developed a series of courses to reach children, youth and adults in the affected area.  Over 500 adults, youth and children in central Chile received trauma healing support through our work.  [Include Pictures of the earthquake and of the workshops for healing]

In 2013, the work was expanded to include Mexico and Puerto Rico.  In 2014, we began the course work in Paraguay and Argentina.  Our goal is to empower the communities in each country to teach the curriculum themselves and to support them as they develop their own practice and curriculum in these areas. 

 
Beverly with torture survivor.jpg