Guatemala – Circular Solidarity: when the poor help the poor

16 July 2018

(ANS - San Benito Petén) - At the mission of San Benito Petén, in Guatemala, a container with food and medicines for the local people came from Canada in early 2018. Among the articles received there were also 10 cases of protective masks for nurses; definitely too many for the mission, they proved to extremely useful to help the villagers affected by the eruption of the volcano "Fuego" last June 3.

When Fr Giampiero De Nardi, an Italian Salesian missionary in San Benito Petén, found all those boxes at the beginning of the year, he rejoiced for the generosity, but thought: "What am I going to do with all these? Even if we used a dozen every day in our dispensary, they would be enough for fifty years!"

Yet, after a few months, these masks turned out to be among their most useful assets when his parish took part in the extraordinary collection of aid for the victims of the Fuego volcano. Together with the bandages he had found stacked in the container, the masks for rescuers and nurses arriving in the affected area proved to be a blessing, with the community of San Benito acting as intermediary. "Apparently the donation the Lord had sent to me, but not for my parishioners!," commented the Italian missionary.

The Salesian parish of San Benito Petén also distinguished itself in the vast show of solidarity for the populations hit by the disaster by organizing a collection of goods in two phases: the first, immediate, of foodstuffs and medicines; the second, of money, to be sent together with the other parishes of the Vicariate of Petén. "The response was very generous ... We live far from the areas hit by the eruption of the volcano, but we share with the areas affected by this disaster the difficulties of every day," said the Salesian.

In fact, what is most striking are two elements: the foresight of Providence, and the solidarity of the people despite their few resources. Fr De Nardi testifies: "a poor country is showing in all emergency situations a commendable generosity."

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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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