Los Toros Mission

The People of Los Toros: Mirella

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Mirella de Leon Ledesma has been involved with our Los Toros Mission from the beginning. She is presently a member of the Executive Committee in Los Toros that coordinates the local work of the Los Toros Mission and she also is the leader of the Beca (scholarship) Committee. Before the Beca Committee was established, Mirella started the first pre-school program for children aged 3 to 5 years.

Mirella is married to Ricardo Ledesma. They have four children, Ernesto, Miacol, Estrella, and Roslenny. Two of their children are presently studying in the University.

Mirella earned her college degree in languages. She is presently teaching both second and fourth level Spanish at the Los Toros High School. She is also working on her Masters degree. Mirella is also helping sponsor Rachel, another of our Beca students, who tragically lost both her parents when very young. Rachel is in our program as a partial Beca student.

Mirella is very soft spoken but commands attention when she speaks. She is very well respected throughout the village for her work with students. She maintains constant contact with the Beca students, often traveling to Santo Domingo monthly to check on the students’ progress.

She knows the students’ families, their backgrounds, and their struggles. Mirella is a very compassionate person and exceptionally good listener. Mirella is an extremely vital link in our communications with students. She is, along with other leaders in the village, the reason for our successes.

For more information about the Los Toros Mission visit our new website:  lostorosfoundation.org


 

Covid-19 infections and day to day restrictions in Los Toros

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to every corner of the world including remote places like Los Toros. Per the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic on April 27, the Dominican Republic had 6,293 corona virus cases and 282 deaths. The DR has a total population of about 11 million.

At this time, we know of only one person in Los Toros who has the Covid-19 virus. She returned from a trip to Italy and is in quarantine in her home. Azua, the closest city to Los Toros, has about 60 people there with the virus.

The entire nation is under “cuarentena” (quarantine) with a ‘stay at home’ order. Masks are required in all public places. Events and public gatherings of all kinds have been suspended. All schools and businesses are closed.

There is absolutely no public transportation. There is a strict nationwide curfew that prohibits all traffic and movement of people from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Roadblocks have been set up at various points throughout the country prohibiting travel. Even in Los Toros, if you are caught on the streets after 5:00 p.m., you are arrested and your penalty is to clean streets with a broom!

From 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. you can go out to shop at one of the “colmados” – small grocery stores where you can buy basic groceries and not much more. Farmers can work their fields, but they have no way of getting their produce to market. People can eat from their crops, but only certain things are ripe at this time.

See more about Los Toros at www.lostorosfoundation.org.

You may also contact Joe Schaub at jsinwi@hotmail.com.


Los Toros launches a new web site.

We have recently launched a new and secure web site for the Los Toros Foundation. We hope to update this new web site more frequently than in the past and to include additional information to supplement the information that will appear in parish bulletin articles.

Please visit the new site regularly to keep informed about the events in our sister parish in the Dominican Republic.

Here is the internet address: https://lostorosfoundation.org/

For more information about the Los Toros Mission come to the Los Toros Council meeting on the third Wednesday of each month.

Los Toros Mission: “To live the Gospel by sharing our spiritual, cultural, and material resources in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Los Toros, empowering them to enhance their education, health, community development and spiritual growth”.

Members Build Community and Solidarity in Faith and Service.
What do they do on a Mission trip?

Discernment of New Leaders
2017 Young and Adult Mission Experience (YAME)
Parish Members Return from Los Toros Inspired and Committed.
Los Toros Water Filter Project Update
Know Your Brothers and Sisters: A Bit of Dominican History Part 1
Know Your Los Toros Brothers and Sisters: Dominican History Part 2
Looking for a no cost way to support the Los Toros Mission? Give while you shop! Before making your next purchase on Amazon, visit Amazon Smile and support the Los Toros Foundation.

Simply visit smile.amazon.com, shop as usual, and select the “Los Toros Foundation” as your charity of choice when you checkout. Amazon Smile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. It’s that easy!  

  • You shop. Amazon Gives.
  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases toLos Toros Foundation whenever you shop on Amazon Smile.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at amazon.com and selecting Los Toros Foundation as your charity.
  • Questions?To learn more about how Amazon Smile can donate to Los Toros when you make any purchase visit: amazon.com
  • Why not set your selection of Los Toros now and bookmark smile.mazon.com so it’s ready the next time you make a purchase?

Thank you for your generous support of our parish mission!

UNDERSTANDING OUR MISSION IN LOS TOROS

Our mission in Los Toros is a mission of solidarity. What does solidarity mean? These Principles of solidarity-based partnerships, taken from Catholic Relief Services’ Parish Partnership Manual express it well.

Principles of solidarity-based partnerships

I. Emphasize relationship over resources.
True partnerships build and nurture a familial relationship over a period of time. When the relationship is valued above all, it allows for mutual participation and transformation, and all are invited to participate equally, as we all have the ability to love and pray and be present to one another. In partnerships based on resources, the partner with little material resources is excluded from fully participating, and relegated to only receiving.

II. Practice mutuality and equality.
True mutuality allows each partner to function from a place of strength rather than weakness. Each acknowledges the wholeness of the other. We must be alert to the historic imbalances of power between the North and the South, and the way that plays out in a relationship. We need to intentionally incorporate opportunities for dialogue, planning, assessing, challenging, and reflecting together, in order to not to fall into the trap of the giver and the receiver, of the superior and the inferior.

III. Seek to give and receive, learn and teach.
True relationship is a constant give and take. We all bring something to the table and we all have poverties that need to be addressed. This requires a spirit of humility, recognizing that we are mutually interdependent and need each other.

IV. Work to change unjust systems and structures.
When we focus on the relationship, ask open-ended questions, and learn from our partners, they invite us in to see and understand their reality – their joys and celebrations, as well as their sorrows and struggles. We begin to recognize the structures and systems that often keep people in poverty and are unacceptably unjust, and are challenged to gently confront our own role and contribution to this injustice, whether through our inaction, or through our consumer choices, our levels of consumption, etc. We are then called to work to change those systems and/or our own personal habits and activities, for the sake of those we have come to know and love (and others who share the same challenges).

V. Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal catholic church.
Partnership calls us more fully into the Church as one Body of Christ, with many unique parts offering different gifts, while united Christ. We are challenged by our partner’s witness of faith amidst adversity. Coming to know brothers and sisters from another culture, we learn new ways of understanding the Scriptures and see new ways of being a parish community. We experience our oneness in Christ, we enlarge our tent, and expand our sense of shared humanity, not only with our parish partner, but with all God’s people in the universal church.

For more information about our parish mission in Los Toros, visit www.lostorosmission.com. All are welcome to attend our Mission Council meetings. Dates and times are announced in the parish bulletin under THIS WEEK IN OUR PARISH.

 

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Our first mission visit to Los Toros was in February of 1987; what has happened since then? Los Toros has changed dramatically and we are happy to say we had a role in its growth. But we did not change the community. Through self-determination, intense community organization and collaboration within and outside of the community the community changed itself! We are proud of our sisters and brothers in Los Toros and we are happy they invited us to be part of their growth.

We embrace the fourfold Philosophy of:

  • Perception, Learning, Understanding
  • Acting with Compassion and Solidarity
  • Enabling others to help themselves
  • Responsibility and Accountability

Through the diligent sharing of ideas, resources and culture we seek to build a relationship of friendship, trust and charity.

To be a part of the Los Toros Mission or for additional information…visit the Los Toros Web Site
To find out how you may share in the mission, contact any of members of the Los Toros Mission
committees or contact Judy Wendtlandt at rwendtlandt@wi.rr.com.
Mission Statement
To live the Gospel by sharing our spiritual, cultural, and material resources in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Los Toros, empowering them to enhance their education, health, community development and spiritual growth.
Reflections on the new Mission Statement by Dave Bennett