Peru – Young Venezuelan migrants in Magdalena del Mar: "Preparing bags of food for poorest"

14 April 2020

(ANS - Lima) - The images of the thousands of Venezuelans who traveled thousands of kilometers a few weeks ago to reach Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, with a handful of clothes and two children in their arms, hungry and thirsty, are shocking. Now, the coronavirus has destroyed the poor twice over. "The only problem is food," they told BBC World to explain why thousands of Venezuelan migrants have decided to return to their country on foot despite the crisis. In Magdalena del Mar, Lima, the Salesians continue to support the young "migrants and refugees from Venezuela."

The "Don Bosco" reception house, located in the Magdalena del Mar district, hosts 50 young people between the ages of 18 and 25, Venezuelan migrants. The pastoral experience is entrusted to Fr José Valdivia, SDB, who combines his work as Provincial Economer with the direction of the house and who has had to face the quarantine situation in a creative and dynamic way.

Many of its young people had reached Peru with the aim of working and sending money to their families, but the pandemic worries them more now, because they fear "they won't be able to send any money" to Venezuela.

"The young people are followed and, despite the concern, they respect the rule of staying home, even if some are a little depressed," describes Naudy, one of the educators. After carrying out his duties as economer, Fr Valdivia reaches Magdalena del Mar to be with the young, to speak with them, to listen to them and to pray together.

So that the more than one hundred young people can experience a peaceful and joyful "confinement", they organized a table soccer championship called "Don Bosco beats Coronavirus."

The young people themselves also prepared "bags of salvation" and offered them to the families of Venezuelan migrants who have nothing.

"We know and we realize how good God is with us," says Javier. "We have a place to sleep and something to eat, the least we can do is share with those who need it."

“One evening, we reflected on the passage from Deuteronomy 10, 17-18. We spent almost three hours talking about what Moses said to the people of Israel, that God is great, powerful and fearful and shows his love to the foreigner by giving him bread and clothes," adds Fr Valdivia. "That night, we spent the night preparing bags of food for the poor, which we distributed the following day."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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