Wednesday, September 28, 2011
“VIRGEN DEL CARMEN” CHILDREN’S CENTRE
COCHABAMBA – BOLIVIA
We are on a Feast!
I wrote this article exactly on the Feast of Cochabamba; it is a day of giving thanks to God for her beauty, for being the heart of Bolivia, for being gazed upon, protected and received by the image of the Lord of Concordia; and as mother, the Virgin of Urkupiña, who is so loved and celebrated by many. It is a poor but festive town. Everything is a cause for celebration.
Cochabamba has its charm, a variety of very dry hills with no vegetation, almost all inhabited, where life goes on emerging. In one of them, in “Cerro Buena Vista, “ the “Virgen del Carmen” Children’s Centre is located; it is a simple and clean infrastructure protected by blue bars, with a playground and a small garden that gives a special color and a welcoming atmosphere.
We, Carmelite Missionaries, have been here in this beautiful mission of receiving the children (from 1 and ½ to 6 years old) of this area for 10 years. We offer them our affection, security and protection they need. Many of them are very poor, not living with their parents but with their grandmothers, a family member or neighbour. They are children of immigrants from different parts of Bolivia and now many of them have gone to other countries in search of better living, without realizing the great loss and suffering caused to their children. Our community, which was formerly interprovincial juniorate, enriched this daycare with the values and creativity of the young. Now we are only three full time sisters, giving to these children what we are and have with much joy, convinced that this mission the Lord has placed in our hands is the most beautiful mission – being with the least and the poor of all.