Christmas at Vereda de Sirigay, Boyaca – Colombia

December 2012.
On Christmas 2012 we had the opportunity to travel for one week to celebrate the holidays in Colombia next to our family. We wanted these 7 days to be something special and to have a meaning and a positive impact in our community. Thanks to the generosity and trust of many friends we were able to help a very isolated and poor town in Boyacá called Vereda de Sirigay. Months before our trip we started collecting clothes, toys, and monetary donations to take with us and make this dream a reality. With great effort, many hours of planning, logistics, and committed volunteers, this week became hope for many, smiles for others and a future to most. We celebrated a “novena” (Colombian tradition during days prior to Christmas day) with the kids of the Vereda de Sirigay. We had games, Christmas gifts, warm meals, prayed our Novena making it a very special day for all of these children. We traveled to remote houses in the middle of the mountains to visit forgotten seniors and families who had close to nothing to survive. We spent time with them listening to what they needed, giving comfort and letting them know they were not alone. Cookies, heart felt conversations, tears and hugs made all of us realize we are in need to feel loved. After this day, our plan began to take action. We bought groceries for the families, packed clothes for the least fortunate, got wood burning kitchens for the ones who were cooking on the ground, got materials to fix very deteriorated shelters, bought water tanks to help them get rain water and planned a community party for everyone no matter their age. It was a day that made a difference in all of our lives and a week of gratefulness to be able to share kindness with people in need.

Changing a family’s life – Belize

September 2010
During a trip to Belize we met amazing people like Linda and her husband who helped us with a tour during our stay. We were touched by their humbleness and commitment to help their community. We joined forces with the Jeal family, our family and helped Raul have life a little bit easier for him, his wife and their 4 children.
Raul lived in a house made with corrosive tin panels, old wood pieces, their floor was mud and the six of them slept in one single hammock. He worked many hours a day trying to provide for his family and it was never enough to make ends meet. Giving them a safe place to call home was our dream and we made it happen. Their shelter became a house; their hammock became beds with mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets; their plastic containers were now pots and pans and dishes; they now have a full pantry for many days to feed his family. Their faces of gratefulness will never be forgotten, and despite the distance and time that has passed we are still in touch with them and always wishing them the best.

Blessing Bag – December 2015

For many of us the holiday season is filled with joy, family and friends, delicious warm food, and looking forward to create many happy memories. For many others is just one more day feeling hopeless, lonely and being homeless. This initiative started with a group of amazing friends who share the idea of paying forward all our blessings by making a change in someone’s life with random acts of kindness. We wanted to share a message of hope despite the adverse circumstances anyone can be facing. We made “blessing bags” for the homeless, where we included toiletries, basic necessity items, socks, blankets and food. We reached many people who needed to feel someone cared and through our blessing bags a message of faith and hope for sure reached their hearts.

Feeding the Homeless – December 2016

Through our parish, we come together as a community to participate in a Ministry to feed the homeless. We cook at our at home and together in caravans of many cars we deliver the food driving through Miami’s most vulnerable streets where hundreds of homeless people find their place to live. More than offering just a meal, we take the time to talk about life, their dreams, we pray together and spend valuable time letting them know we all care for them.

Sirigay, Colombia – December 2012