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Marist Laity of Champagnat of Huacho

08/07/2018: Peru

A group of Marist Laity from Peru works with approximately 1,380 children, without counting the adults and persons of the Third Age.   They have been doing this for over a five year period of time, providing the classrooms, the school equipment and material as well as clothes for the little ones who go to the Class rooms of Early Stimulation SET for children from 1 and 2 years of age and then for those children who participate in non-formal School Programs of Initial Education –PRONOEL – for children between 3 and 5 years of age, stages which are not taken care of by the public educational system. 

The group has its Center in the Marist School San José in the city of Huacho, 150 kilometers to the north of Lima, and is integrated in the Province “Santa Maria de los Andes”.  Its activities are diffused through the page of FaceBook LAICOS MARISTAS DE CHAMPAGNAT PERU (@laicosmaristasperu). This responds to the need of fostering communication with the former pupils in the social networks, so that they do not lose their identity and keep the beautiful legacy of spirituality which they received in the school.

At the head of the Team and of its social work are the veteran former pupils Arturo Bazalar and Alejandro Montes, accompanied by Brother Carlos Arrazubi, and they have the support of a priest Don Antonio Colombo, Vice Parish Priest of the Cathedral San Bartolomeo.  The group is also integrated by the former pupils Antonio La Rosa and Manuel Lau Chang and the elderly Brothers Isidoro Ramiro and Angel Labrador, who work between Spain and Peru as volunteers.    

The fixed number of the Team is eight, to which on some occasions is joined by the Educational Community through some pupils, parents and professors who join the Team of Solidarity Pastoral work. When the activity requires it, all the above mentioned members, approximately 38 in number, show that the School is not an island but a source of solidarity.    

The meetings are held in the School and they usually take place every fifteen days; during these meetings the activities are programmed considering the petitions received after previous verification of them.  This last point demands going to the different places and contacting those who are responsible and the social agents of the different villages and settlements.   

They understand that the authentic “Marist Gospel” is based on their example of life made love for the neighbor.  Their presence is habitual in the neighborhoods of the peripheries to support the families which are desirous to educate and provide schooling for their children under the slogan: “To learn today is to learn for one’s whole life”.  They admire the struggling spirit and the capacity for sacrifice of the mothers to assure the right of their children to receive education.  

The group of Lay Marists from Huacho carries out an apostolic work of great solidarity wherever they discover a need or where they hear a voice asking for help.  Their material help is centered in providing for the children a worthy and adequate place to respond to their formative needs during those crucial years of their infancy.  This is how they formulate their fundamental objective: ”To continue to work with those in greater need of a friendly hand, of the love of the Lord, of the tenderness of the Good Mother and of the human warmth of Father Champagnat”.  

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