Rome (Agenzia Fides) - For the past nine years the Italian institute for university cooperation ICU (Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria), has organised an annual Nicaragua Work Camp, an initiative of voluntary work in Central America.
A group of twenty Italian students accompanied by a medical doctor left Milan on 25 July for three weeks of voluntary service in a poor village, only an hour’s drive from Managua the capital of Nicaragua, but in a remote area, extremely difficult to reach. The programme focussed this year on the construction of a sports centre for local children and young people. As always on these missions, the programme envisaged the involvement of the people and the students worked together with local men and women .
The name of the village was Diriamba. The work consisted of digging for foundations, levelling the land and then cementing the area. The students formed teams for different activities, digging, measuring, cement mixing, constructing metal framework to reinforce the structure.
The Work Camp 2006 included a special event, a mass celebrated by Fr Luke Mata from the United States of America who was accompanying the mission with Dr. Rossi. The priest also spent several hours every day talking to local families who are very poor and have little school instruction and for whom this was an opportunity to make their confession and also speak about their difficulties and hopes. The main event of the Work Camp 2006 was on the last day when the villagers brought 31 children and adolescents to be baptised by Father Luke.
The celebration was a very special event because of the large number of participants and also the impact and significance it had on the people: the presence of a priest in this remote area is an unusual event and it was a unique opportunity to have the children baptised. (AP) (4/9/2006 Agenzia Fides; Righe:32: Parole:371)