What can you
say about the Cambodian people?
The suffering of the Cambodian people, since the time
of the genocide, is still there. This suffering is passed on from generation to
generation. There are many elderly people who have been psychologically
affected and this has been passed on to their children, to their relatives.
Thank God, Cambodia’s youth are already looking to the future with hopeful eyes
and a sense of progress and justice. But the traces of the suffering of the Pol
Pot regime is a very delicate subject that we must take into account when we
work, when we accompany. We have to develop our pastoral projects with special
sensitivity, because we are working with wounded people, and their wounds are
not yet healed.
What kind of
presence do Jesuits have in this country?
are about 25 Jesuits of nine nationalities, mostly Asians: Koreans, Indians,
Filipinos, Indonesians, Vietnamese, Thais... and myself, a Spaniard. They are
young and very involved, very dynamic, very close to the people. Our ministries
take us close to the people. The context of Cambodia is very simple in the
sense that the poor are present everywhere and it is not difficult to go and
meet them. So we have educational projects; we work a lot in the field of
education, both popular education and education for people with mental and
physical disabilities. We also have agricultural production projects as well as
projects that have an important Laudato
Si’ dimension, the care of creation.