An important part of our two yearly visits to El Recreo is where the delegation breaks into small groups and delivers care packages to the most needy, sick, elderly, or homebound. The directiva of El Recreo, who is like the mayor, decides through the help of his council and Beatriz, who is also on the council, to whom the care packages should be delivered to.
The contents of the care packages vary from year to year. Milagro, our main point of contact and who lives in Berlin, purchases the materials and takes them to the Casa Mia, the delegation’s place of lodging. Then, the delegation creates an assembly line to assemble the packages. This past January the packages contained all food items: juice, pasta noodles, tomato sauce, rice, tortillas, and other staples. The delegates make up the care packages the night before the visits so the packages are ready to put on the truck and take to the village. The number of visits changes each year, but this past January the delegates broke into two groups where they visited and delivered to 14 different homes. Translators accompany each group so there can be an active line of communication between our delegates and the villagers.
Kamy Sullivan, a frequent delegate to El Recreo stated, “The response of the people who receive the packages is with so much appreciation. They usually always tell us to convey to the people of St. Boniface they have been such a blessing to us. This year we visited a woman who was completely homebound and lived up a very steep hill with a path constructed with pieces of volcanic rock. She had a stroke about three years ago, fell, broke her leg, and couldn’t afford to go to a doctor so her leg is stuck with her knee up to her chin. Unfortunately, due to the lack of medical assistance at the time, she can’t straighten her leg to even a sitting position. She can’t walk and is completely wheelchair bound. Another elderly woman we visited who had dirty rags on her throat because of a bad sore throat. And yet another woman we visited had diabetes and was not feeling well.”
“In January of 2016 we went to a home of a very sick woman who could hardly breathe,” shared Kamy. “They wanted to go to the hospital, but didn’t have money for transportation. We gathered up $50 so she could go to hospital. She had lung cancer and her lungs kept filling with fluid. When we were there she looked like she was dying so Fr. Vince did a Blessing over her. The truck then came to transport her to the hospital. A few months later she died and we helped pay for her funeral. It is times like this, moments like this that the least little thing you do for someone can make such a big difference. It is heart wrenching going into their homes made of stick or tin with animals running around on their dirt floors and giving them something so small which means more than just the goods inside of it… it shows we care.”
This is something that had a huge, huge impact on me this past trip,” shared Kamy. “I was very slowly walking down this rock path coming from the home of a person when I heard someone shouting. One of the men on the trip, who was a little ways behind me, was yelling for me. I walked back up and saw this man who knew me from past trips. He was carrying the biggest papaya I had ever seen. He wanted me to have it. It is just amazing how people who have so little, want to give whatever they have to you. I didn’t want to take it from him but knew he would be offended it I hadn’t. The more you give the more you get.”