The various entities of the Dehonians in Latin America wanted to respond to the various needs that have arisen in these difficult times and of course, continue to respond to those that already existed.
Who says God is dead
to come out and see
whether or not the world is homework
of a God who is still awake.
The desert is no longer his place
nor in the mountain is it hidden;
say, if they ask where,
that God is, without a shroud,
where a man works
and a heart responds to it.
We make the introduction with this hymn from the Liturgy of the Hours because of our hands and our hearts is also the Heart of God, the Heart of Jesus who goes in search of the most needy.
In the District of Ecuador our social work has been mainly providing food, medicines, masks, sanitary and hygienic materials, as well as tests and exams of various kinds.
In Quito, we have collaborated with Caritas Diocesana and the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) along with other private institutions. A ration of non-perishable food has also been given to the most disadvantaged families in the Parish of Santa Maria de la Argelia. Currently, 70 weekly rations are being delivered.
Another significant action in this area, which was born as an initiative of some committed lay people of the parish, is the online accompaniment project “Contigo”, aimed at people who are on the verge of depression due to the pandemic.
In Bahía de Caráquez, we have collaborated with the Municipality, with the packing plant Búfer (which was a great pillar in the reconstruction work of the earthquake of April, 2016) as well as private donations from parishioners and friends from the rest of the country and abroad. Also, the facilities of the Domus Cordis have been provided to accommodate the security personnel and the Sacred Heart Parish has been a food collection center for all of Bahia.
The work of the Padre Dehon soup kitchens in Finca and of the La Merced Parish in Bellavista deserves special mention. Each day more than 350 lunches are distributed to children and families that were part of the projects, as well as new members. Each day, a family member takes a part of the ration of food that has already been prepared.
The congregation has collaborated with the Municipality in the creation of an isolation center for patients with Covid-19, providing two oxygen machines, sanitary material, food containers, and waterproof mattress covers.
In short, the work of Dehonian religious in this pandemic has focused on responding to the needs of the people around us, especially those who are most disadvantaged and affected by the disease. They have accompanied pastorally and socially, with humility and simplicity, trying to be prophets of love in the face of new discards and servants of reconciliation in a society fragmented by poverty, political corruption, and the collapse of health institutions.