Central America Regional Recorder's Meeting - February 25, 2021
Submitted by Stephen Balke, General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International

General Grand Council Collar
Cryptic Masons International Collar
Photo Credit; MIC John Bridegroom
 

On February 25, a conference call was held with the Central America Regional Recorders. A summary of the call is below.

Central America

  • No restrictions (PCR testing required)
    • Costa Rica
    • El Salvador -
      • Grand Lodge is open for activities.
    • Guatemala
    • Honduras
  • Grand Sessions - 
    • In person planned for September.
  • Degree work is postponed.

Ecuador

  • Having a hard time with pandemic - resurgences, etc. Restricted.
    • Vaccines 20K doses are all that arrived.
    • All in-person postponed.
    • People are not practicing social distancing.
  • To enter the country PCR testing is required. Will also require follow-ups.
  • Grand Lodge - Equinoxion Grand Lodge - investigated opening up
    • Large and medium temples allow 40 member maximum attendance.
    • November - started attending - some Lodges with Brethren who are susceptible to COVID are staying home.
    • Two week hiatus.
    • Installed all of the 43 Lodges in the Jurisdiction.
  • York Rite has been meeting on Wednesdays in person. Having virtual meetings continue into the future - useful for business and inclusion of those unable or unwilling to attend in person.
  • No issues with contagiousness of virus in York Rite.
  • Planning to have an Assembly between October and December.

Panama

  • No restrictions on travel except to get tested, getting better right now. Statistics are improving - coming month expecting better.
    • In process of getting vaccinations. 
  • Grand Lodge 
    • Most meetings are virtual
    • Degree work is done in the temple.
  • Grand Lodge temple.
    • Limited to 25 people present on the property.
  • York Rite meeting using Virtual meetings
    • Changing meetings from Panama Shrine to Grand Lodge temple.
    • No date so far for in-person, but planning on happening soon.
    • May start doing degree work with the change in venue to Grand Lodge temple.
  • Grand Sessions
    • Meeting in January - will hold again in 2022.

Paraguay

  • Paraguay has restrictions 
    • 50 people limit for meetings permission granted.
  • York Rite
    • Own facilities where York Rite meets
    • When could not meet, met virtually.
  • Grand Sessions
    • March 6, 2021
    • Chapter and Council
    • Stringent fiscal system where taxes and reporting are due.
  • Degree work - working and have several future Brothers to receive degree work.

Peru

  • Pandemic is closing down - also bought some Chinese vaccines - political backlash from mishandling of the actual vaccines received.
    • 6PM - 4AM curfew. 
    • To enter the country - same regulations as Ecuador and Central America.
  • All meetings of the Grand Lodge are virtual - no meetings in person.
  • Lima - Meetings on third Mondays - virtually, all other councils are working as well.
    • Lima provides a subject for discussions - all Councils should be present and working - they all show up and discuss the subject.
  • Degree work is not being done - 27 new Companions took the oath and promised to take the full degrees when the restrictions are lifted.
  • Grand Assembly
    • Arequipa, Peru
    • October - last week - already being planned using virtual meetings..
    • Grand Chapter and Grand Council

Venezuela

  • Internal restrictions for travel. 
    • Confused situation - government is not forthcoming
    • Need Security Ministry pass to travel anywhere.
  • Very complicated to connect via internet.
    • Maintenance is not being done.
  • Masonry is affected severely by the circumstances.
  • Grand Lodge / Supreme Council
    • Does not permit in person meetings. (Last Year)
    • Special meetings will be able to take place at the Grand Lodge temple.
  • York Rite
    • Doing work in the Chapters as there are not Council rooms.
    • Special meetings will be held this year as available.
  • Maintaining administrative communication between the Grand Council and Councils.
  • Grand Sessions - Likely be virtual due to circumstances and restrictions.

General Grand Council

  • International issues have been taking time.
  • We are working on starting meetings with all regions and catching up on “office work”.
  • Our priorities right now in Latin America:
    • Monthly Meetings
    • Subordinate Annual Returns and per capita. (because of the Feb. 28 deadline)
    • Charters 
      • Subordinate Councils - First Virtual then Paper (by Post)
      • Grand Councils
        • Virtual ASAP - March
        • Actual Charters require a ceremony, so operate on the electronic version until we can travel to Constitute the Grand Council.
  • Reviewed Website
    • Awards section
    • Decryption
  • Introduced the Fireside Chat
  • Introduced YouTube Channel.