AMERICA/CHILE - "Christ Migrant of the World": a year of help and support for migrants in the Archdiocese of La Serena

Friday, 15 January 2021 emigration   caritas   local churches  

La Serena (Agenzia Fides) - In 2020, the Chilean Caritas launched various initiatives for the benefit of the most affected population groups. One of these programs, aimed at providing legal advice and humanitarian aid to migrants residing in the area, was realized thanks to the "Christ Migrant of the World" project, financed with donations from the Campaign for Lent 2019. The project was carried out in various parishes of the Archdiocese where there are communities of migrants who have had to overcome many difficulties, including the consequences of the social crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. The project was developed for a period of twelve months in 2020 and ended on January 12th in the parish "Cristo Risorto" in Tierras Blancas, which is home to a particularly large number of migrants from different countries: Haiti, Venezuela , Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, among others. Natalia Villalobos, who is responsible for the implementation of the project, explained that the project was carried out in communities across the region, such as Coquimbo, Las Compañías, La Serena, Rivadavia, Vicuña and the rural areas of Limarí. Unfortunately, many of the planned activities have been changed due to the pandemic. "What was possible without any problems - said Natalia Villalobos - was to ensure social, pastoral and legal support and to advise people on issues related to visas, temporary and permanent residences and to give them access to the services provided by the state. Many of these people live in precarious circumstances and up to 10 families can live together in one house, for whom we provide basic services. We concentrate on solving urgent problems. "Patricio Alegre, Director of the Social Pastoral Care - Caritas La Serena, stressed the importance of continuing to work together. "The team in charge of the project has been of great help among the immigrant brothers and sisters who are in trouble. It is not easy to arrive in an unknown place and the Church recognizes the need to accompany these people. Through this project, we have reached numerous migrants from different communities located in the territory of La Serena - Coquimbo, in the valley of Elqui and Limarí. This year we will continue to work with migrants. We therefore ask everyone to continue to support the fundraising campaign for next Lent, which will enable us to help those affected". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2021)