chileans

‘I see Jesus’: Working with poor helps young Chileans’ faith

COLINA, Chile — In winter, the dirt roads in the slum known as Rivera Sur are muddy and full of puddles.

"It gets freezing in winter, with so much rain and mud," local resident Teresa Aranda said. "Sometimes I don't let my daughter go to school because I don't want her slipping in the mud on the streets."

But young Chileans volunteering with a Jesuit charity — TECHO-Chile, also known as A Roof for Chile — have helped Aranda and more than 400 other families living in the shantytown known as Rivera Sur, 25 miles north of Santiago.

After Easter, Chileans on horseback bring Communion to homebound

Volunteers dressed in traditional cowboy clothing carried a banner and Chilean flags at the Quasimodo Festival April 23 in Colina, Chile. The festival dates to colonial times, when cowboys would protect from bandits the priests administering the sacraments.

COLINA, Chile — The priests and helpers came on horses and bicycles carrying red, white and blue Chilean flags and metal crosses. Their mission: to pray and give Communion to the old and infirm, parishioners who couldn't get to church on Easter Sunday.

In Chile, it's called "La Fiesta de Cuasimodo" (Quasimodo's Festival), and it takes place every year on the Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.

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