PARAGUAY, by Father José Pontes and the editorial team of “Tupãrenda” Magazine/ORG •
Father José Pontes encouraged a small group of Schoenstatters that has traveled every two months for six years to Chaco,an indigenous community, 500 Km. from Asunción, with the desire of carrying out many projects in favor of these very needy brothers/sisters. The initiative is called “Covenant Solidarity,” an expression created by the schoenstatt.org “Dreamteam” in 2012, and that goes out for the first time from this place to the great joy of the team.
Gift for gift
Several works were carried out thanks to different people who constantly and untiringly help to obtain funds in the dynamic of “Regalo por regalo,” [“Gift for gift”] after unexpectedly receiving somemoney; they freely gave something to the indigenous. They have carried out these projects through the generosity of many little gifts that are received and from spontaneous anonymous donations.They do not receive contributions from any non-profit association or the State. They have spent $140,000, fruit of the dynamic “Regalo por regalo” to carry out the following works:
- Dental care with the help of the buses of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare.
- The Oblates loaned the house that was converted into a solidarity center:people from the Paraguayan Red Cross, the Ministryof National Emergency, Doctors without Borders, government doctors, civil servants from the Civil Registry, etc.regularly spend the night here.
- Construction of a 500,000liter tank and troughs to store rainwater, taking advantage that the roof of the church caved in. It has an electric pump to distribute water up to 1,500 meters and two manual pumps for extracting fresh water in front of the church.
- Bought a boat and fishing nets were bought.
- Bought wagon pulled by horses and a manual one.
- Bought three bicycles, one motorcycle for Arnaldo, the health volunteer.
- A carpentry shed was built, and later it was used to raise chickens.
- 80 tables were made from the wood the National Administration of Electricity gave. Previously they had made the connection to every house that passes from the main line.
- The parish house was remodeled that can now lodge fourteen people: the volunteers who stay there during the weekends.
- Gave financial aid to three youths who are in an agriculture school and to three university students in Asunción.
- Building and complete equipment of a medical infirmary with beds for internment and delivery room in covenant with the German embassy.
- Built a carpentry workshop.
- Laid a stone floor for the little chapel part of it is still lacking.
- Bought 50 beehives with bees and several beekeeping accessories.
- Bought a diesel motor pump and a fuel pump to extract water.
- Bought two power saws and an electric welder.
- Bought an oven for a bakery, so that they can make their own bread.
- Bought 150 chicks from the veterinary school.
- Ceramic kiln and training with acrylics so that the children can make ceramic pieces.
- Flia. Brusquetti donatedtwo Boer buck goats for breeding (milkgoat) and two Dorper rams (sheep) for breeding.
- We have also supported the community of Cacique Sapo with the drilling of an artesian well and the installation of an electric pump.
- The Schoenstatt youths organized the campaign “Te abrigo” [“I clothe you”], through which we were able to provide an abundant amount of warm clothes and blankets for the winter.They visited the community of General Díaz and Cacique Sapo accompanied by Father Pedro.
- Bought 70 goats along with sheep, cows and 4 horses.
- Milk was donated for several babies.
- Paid bus fares for indigenous people of different ethnicities for transportation to hospitals. Bought medicines for those with prescriptions.
- We pay the health assistant volunteer 1,100,000 Guaraníes (approximately $220, which is a considerable amount in this place) from Covenant Solidarity (they do not receive funds from the Ministry).
- The General Díaz (Chaco) church is being fixed.
- A veterinarian was taken to check on the situation of the community’s animals.
- Mangos were taken so that they could be planted at every house (mangos are large tropical trees that produce very delicious and nutritious fruit).