La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - Caritas Bolivia has renewed its commitment to work for migrants in 2022 by signing new Agreements with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) . These agreements, informs the note sent to Fides, will be made executive at a national level, through the Social Pastoral / Caritas network of the various ecclesiastical jurisdictions. In this way, the Church will continue to carry out her service to the most remote borders of Bolivia, through her social arms such as Caritas, continuing to assist migrants, especially those of Venezuelan origin, at the border with Peru (in the city of Desaguadero ), with Chile (in the city of Pisiga) and with Argentina (in the cities of Villazón and Villamontes).
According to United Nations data, in December 2021, more than 20,000 Venezuelan migrants had entered Bolivia, of whom more than 1,000 had been granted refugee status. Bolivia has just over 11 million inhabitants and is a country of transit rather than destination, but families who decide to stay in the country prefer the cities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and La Paz due to their favorable climate.
The Social Pastoral / Caritas Bolivia has been working for more than 10 years in favor of people in situations of human mobility, who arrive in Bolivia in search of a better future. In recent years, the Venezuelan economic and political crisis has generated one of the largest flows of migrants and refugees wandering in various Latin American countries. On the streets of several cities in Bolivia, the note continues, there are entire families of migrants who ask for help, clean cars or sell sweets to obtain the necessary resources to meet their humanitarian needs: food and shelter. During the Mass celebrated for the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, on January 6, the Archbishop of Santa Cruz, Mgr. Sergio Gualberti, stressed that "power must be at the service of life, of the rights and well-being of people, of the common good and of peace". The mystery of the Epiphany - continued the Archbishop - confronts us with two opposing paths: that of Herod and that of the wise Magi. "Either we choose the way of Herod, of the darkness of sin and of a selfish life without God and indifferent to others, of a science without ethical reference and of a world ruled by the logic of the idols of power, of glory and wealth; or we choose the path of the wise astrologers, behind the star, the light that leads us to life, to the practice of justice, to the common good, to solidarity, to brotherhood, to 'love and peace ... ".
"Let us ask the wise - concluded the homily - to help us walk the path of new life, of the renewal of our faith in the true God, of the renewal of our commitment, of our dedication and of our service to his kingdom of love and life, a mission that gives full meaning to our existence and that fills us with joy, like the wise magi". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/1/2022)