Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec 26, 2017 / 00:32 am
For many people, a warm meal is a way to come together, celebrate, and spend time with friends and family. For homeless people living on the streets of Montevideo, Uruguay, it’s an experience that’s rare. But about 500 young people in the city are working to change that.
Every night, especially in wintertime, around 16 groups coming from universities, parishes, and movements in the archdiocese go out to distribute more than 1900 meals to the city's homeless residents.
The volunteers get together in late afternoon to cook, using donations from parishioners, businesses and the young people themselves. When night comes with its low temperatures, they set out to meet the most needy.
One of these groups is the Luceros Movement, made up of more than 100 volunteers who gather Mondays and Wednesdays at the Virgin of Carmen and Saint Therese Parish to prepare more than 100 meals.
This group came about after a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Salta, eight years ago.
After returning from the pilgrimage, the young participants formed a growing prayer group, and started to “make chocolate milk and some sandwiches to hand out to the people on the street,” Juan José Malvárez told the Catholic Church's TV channel (ICM) in Montevideo.
“It’s common, if you live in Montevideo, that when you leave your house, on your block or the next, there's somebody sleeping or living on the street. It's shocking,” explained Felipe Silva.
“The food is really just a means, it's a vehicle,” Silva said. “It's important to fill the belly, but a lot more important to fill the hearts of these people.”