We thought we knew the origin of this project but, as time went by, we discovered it had been planned before our arrival...
For us, this project began with the death of our daughter Juana. A death that was unexpected, limitlessly painful and indescribable in words. At that time, my husband Diego and I, Silvina, lived in Brazil with our two daughters, Olivia and Juana, and I was pregnant of Felipe. With Juana’s farewell we lost our course. We did not know where we were standing in life anymore.
While going through the tough grieving process, with our hearts broken and an infinite amount of questions that could not be answered we felt guilty, lack of energy, read whatever we received, searched for the help of therapists of all kinds and beliefs, and resorted to anything that would help us keep going. Then, Diego read that it would be good to go on pilgrimage.
So, between research and conversations, he came up with the Caminho da Fé (The Walk of Faith), inspired by the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. This pilgrimage route begins in the north of the state of San Pablo, Brazil and ends at the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Aparecida (Our Lady of Aparecida). 320 kilometers of land... and sky.
In bad shape, with little energy and with the hope of finding something that would bring him back to life, Diego left. Diego felt Juana was with him at all times, sitting on his shoulders –her favorite way of travelling- and that gave him the strength he needed to finish the pilgrimage. This pilgrimage was a turning point for all our family. It was the moment when Diego stopped falling and understood that life could continue. We were not going to get Juana back but we could carry on living. He began thinking about life and hope once again. Our friends, those who went on the pilgrimage with him, also found special things: experience, feelings, comradeship, spirituality, and plenitude. Being between mountains, in contact with nature and enjoying the simplest things of life gives us peace, connects us with our inner being, and helps us find God.