With 9 million people in the city of Lima, it is no wonder the traffic is chaotic, with drivers being the master of 'the nudge', as 4 and 5 lanes of traffic negotiate roundabouts!! It is a marvel to observe how the trafic flows with tact and diplomacy!!
On one of these journeys, Jorge Armas Calasich, the head of Caritas Lima-Vicaria de La Caridad and Ricardo Ormeno (friend of Michael Digges and translater) took us to one of the poorest and disadvantaged areas of south eastern Lima, a place called El Agustino.
They call this shanty town, Pueblo Joven (Young Town).
This area houses over 70,000 of the very poorest and is in the Parish of Medalla Milagrosa. Parish Priest Fr Arthur (pictured), accompanied us on a (very priviliged) tour of the Parish, showing us the many wonderful initiatives he has instigated and established.
We saw schools, pre-school nurseries, vocational centres and housing which had a lasting impact on us all.
The families we met were wonderfully friendly, always welcoming and greeted us with warmth and hospitality. The children were a delight.
Michael and I have high hopes that our pilgrims will be able to work with this community.
The next day we set off to another area North of Lima, known as Pamplona alta. Again we saw deep poverty and social disadvantage, matched by an extraordinary spirit of people, welcoming and friendly.
The best part of the day was the visit to a school of disabled children called Alegria Senor, in the La Molina district.
These beautiful wonderful children welcomed us with hugs, smiles and warm greetings that brought tears to our eyes.
If ever our pilgrims could experience such moments then the connection would last a life time.
Phil Ryall, managing director of HarvestWYD Tours arranged this visit as an example of the types of mission experiences our pilgrims may encounter. This was most appreciated.
After meeting with representatives of the Dominican and Columban Orders tomorrow we fly to Rio! We have many exciting plans and possibilities.
Posted by wyd2013 at 2:58 PM