Unlike a journal that discusses day by day occurrences, I am going to arrange this blog by topics! Thus this posting is about the conference center, El Centro de Espiritualidad Loyola. The conference center was at one time a working monastery. There was a main chapel for mass, and little chapels scattered around the 3 floors. There was also meeting or class rooms and little “day rooms” or “sitting areas”. The sleeping quarters were monk cells which consisted of a small twin size bed, sink and desk. Some of the rooms that were for 2 or 3 people came with a private bathroom. I had an individual cell, so like a dorm-room my bathroom was down the hall with toilets and showers. I enjoyed the simplicity of the room—with furnishings. I was quite creative with the limited space. I hung my clothes up all over the room using the back of a chair, hooks on the door, and draping pants over the desk.
There was beautiful art work all over the place and I took many pictures. My favorite was a Jesus on the cross carved into a single piece of wood. There was a huge mural of the last supper in the dining hall. There were many flower gardens on the grounds. Denia and I took a stroll one evening and found a huge walkway covered with grape vines—it was amazing. It was hard to capture the magnitude of the length with a camera. At the end of the long walkway was a cemetery with many names on a memorial wall.
The most disappointing part of the conference center, is not being able to read the signs and posters written in Spanish to learn more about his beautiful place.
We had our room key and name badge on a lanyard labeled “El Centro de Espiritualidad Loyola”. I wanted to keep the lanyard as a souvenir, so with the help of Denia and some Chilean pesos I purchased one. I now wear it at work. It holds my office keys and my work name badge. I still have the centro close to my heart.