Cucuta – While the eyes of the world are turned towards the situation of tension created on the southern border of the United States for the arrival of the caravans of the Central American migrants waiting to be allowed to enter, another group of migrants is assisted, almost in an emergency situation, on the border between Colombia and Venezuela. In fact, a large group of Venezuelans wait, forming long queues, to receive a plate of “pasta with tuna”. They arrive starving from different parts of Venezuela, with the intention of continuing the journey to the south of Latin America, perhaps Peru.
They are welcomed by a group of Catholic volunteers, who work to alleviate the hunger of this vulnerable population. This is the daily mission of the over 200 collaborators of “Divina Providencia”, a canteen of the Catholic Church community, located in Villa del Rosario, Norte de Santander, less than 500 meters from the Simón Bolívar international bridge.
This group of volunteers, Colombians and Venezuelans, coordinated by the diocese of Cucuta and by the parishes of the area, receives food goods from the Banco Mundial de Alimentos, which manages the donation of the United Nations. This group of people from the diocese of Cúcuta prepares about 3,000 meals a day.
“The economic crisis and lack of food have led us to leave Venezuela. I have always believed that there is no point in criticizing, so I stayed here to help my compatriots, with what is most lacking in my country: food”, said Alexis José Rivero López, from Venezuela, who arrived in Colombia 10 months ago.
According to the UN, about 2.3 million people have left Venezuela since 2014, when an acute economic crisis began. Colombia has welcomed more than a million, while almost one million Venezuelans have been registered in Peru.
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