Erie to El Arca Choluteca in Honduras

My L’Arche journey took a different turn this past year. After spending three years in L’Arche Erie, I wanted to experience a different culture and a different way of living L’Arche. Last July I moved to a L’Arche community in Honduras, El Arca Choluteca. It was time to experience something that would challenge my way of thinking and living. I experienced just that.

El Arca Choluteca clearly strives for the same goal of living in relationship of mutuality. We lived life together, day in and day out. In L’Arche Erie we celebrate in the love and transformation of these relationships. However, there are other realities in Honduras that effect community life. For example, there is little access to professionals (psychologists, occupational therapists, or behavior specialists) for the formation of assistants. Core people come from very broken and painful backgrounds. Although assistants’ hearts truly want to help, they are far from knowing how to best care for their friends with disabilities. Daily life is often a tiring struggle.

The last ten months of my L’Arche journey has put me in my place. Sometimes I felt empty and unable to give of myself. I now know how raw and void of celebration I can become. Yet, at the end of a tired day, I could still smile at my housemates and thank God for relationships. El Arca Choluteca, as well as L’Arche Erie, are signs of hope in the world.

Christina Linehan is a former assistant with L’Arche Erie in Pennsylvania.