Migrants in South America: a story we live today


The help of the Focolare communities in Latin American countries: actual  gestures to be “all brothers (and sisters)”, as Pope Francis invoked in his last encyclical.

In Peru and in the other Latin American countries we see the continuous arrival of migrants, especially  from Venezuela, but also Cuba, Central America, Haiti, and Arab countries. The Focolare communities are committed every day to helping these people.

Silvano Roggero, a focolarino in Peru tells us: “Our adventure in Peru begins a few days before Christmas 2017.  We invited some Venezuelans we met for lunch at home. At first there were five of them, later on  we moved to the “Juan Carlos Duque” Centre because more than  120 people came!

I remember Geno’s meeting with Karlin and her three young children. Crouching on the pavement, she was selling sweets. Geno heard a loud voice inside: “It’s Jesus!”. Going back  he buys some sweets and invites her to lunch. That Sunday she came with the 3 children and also brought her sister with her two children!”

In Colombia near Bogotá, Alba, who arrived as a migrant from Venezuela in 2014, has become a point of reference for the “Caminantes” (migrants) who pass by daily at the local Centre.

One day, she hadn’t had lunch yet when a pregnant woman with her partner visited the centre needing medical attention.  At the local  dispensary there was a very attentive and kind nurse who could help them. Despite the cold, the hunger, the worry of leaving her volunteer colleagues alone at the Centre  and also her children at home without lunch, Alba  accompanied them to the dispensary and waited with  them. At the end of the visit she accompanied the two young parents back to the Centre, and guess what happened? The Caminantes, knowing what Alba had done for the couple, put together some money to buy two cartons of eggs for her, her children and colleagues! Truly a hundredfold! From whom? From those who need it most!

At the end of 2018, the Focolare community in Mexico City joined in the “humanitarian reception” of groups of migrants. A civil association inspired by the charism of the Focolare Movement gave its technical contribution and coordination to the authorities. A location was established  to facilitate the collection and distribution of food, clothes, personal hygiene products and dozens of blankets. You  can   imagine the gratitude of the migrants.

Brazil has also welcomed many migrants.  The local community reports: “The multiplication of donations surprises us.  We make a request for a heater, suddenly we get much more. Someone asks us for a sink and the next day a person we don’t know offers to help and donates five.

One day a friend goes to buy something to give us. He explains to the shopkeeper the reasons for the purchase and is surprised by the discount and the free delivery offered . On another occasion a person we don’t know tells us: “I will organise an event and  with the proceeds I will order some food for you to send to those who need it”.

Lorenzo Russo

3 Comments

  • Da mucha alegria ver a tantos que se donan para ayudar a personas que tanto necesitan y que estan lejos de su tierra y a través se ello se manifiesta la providencia de Dios

  • Hermoso reportaje, y esto se repite cada día en muchos lugares, aquí en Lima, Perú somos testigos de la Providencia Divina, es como una lluvia de bendiciones que no para, el Centro Juan Carlos Duque, del Movimento de Los Focolares vive a diario este milagro, llegan insumos, los entregamos y vuelven a llegar más.

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