Web of Life

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Web of Life is a new eco-spiritual retreat and study program based at the Maryknoll Sisters' Pastoral Center in Santa Fe, Darién, Panama. Global Sisters Report invites readers to follow along in a series of blogs, videos and photo galleries in the most recent retreat, held in June 2017. This union of spirituality and science is articulated in a series of reflections by theologians and scientists in settings as diverse as bustling Panama City, an organic farm and a tropical forest. Read more about the program.

Web of Life: closing the circle

The Panama Canal, the highlight of our last day, was a study in contradictions after the full immersion in the natural world of Darién. In the context of the Web of Life, I think beyond this place and this moment, where 3,000 people will visit with their cameras and iPhones and take selfies in front of the moving machines. I think of the 30,000 people who died in the creation of this canal. I think of the mountains moved, the thousands of acres of forests flooded and wetlands drained, and the millions of gallons of fresh water being flushed into the sea with the movement of every ship.

Web of Life and beginning to see: birds, sloths and the community of life

The day was one of transition. Two earlier presenters, Hermel López, regional environment ministry representative for Darién, and Osvaldo Jordán of the Alianza para el Desarrollo y Conservación shared reflections about the future for Matusagaratí and its meaning as a microcosm of the larger picture. Participants joined in a thought-provoking reflection , then the group immediately jumped into a series of activities until nearly 10 p.m. in Panama City. Today, Friday, is the last day, and we will go to see the Panama Canal and then have an integration ceremony.

Web of Life retreat examines Panama's role in Earth's history

Panama's importance in the history of planet Earth is hard to exaggerate. Nearly 3 million years ago, the iconic land bridge emerged to join two continents and divide a vast ocean in two, opening a bridge to a massive migration of species and shifting of ocean currents. It triggered an ice age and may have helped create conditions that led to the evolution of humans.