Venezuelan hallaca, a taste of Christmas for the homeless of Caracas
By Génesis Carrero Soto
Caracas, Dec 25 (EFE).- An NGO has promised all Venezuelans a ‘hallaca’, a traditional meal from Venezuela, for Christmas amid an economic crisis that has impoverished the population, worsened by the pandemic.
The initiative by ‘Give me a Jajaja’ NGO kicked off on December 23 when some 20 volunteers loaded their vehicles with Christmas food to distribute to the vulnerable across Caracas.
“When you live a reality as complex as the one Venezuela is living and you discover that there are people who are living an even worse reality than you, your problems become smaller,” Francisco Soares, president of the NGO, told Efe, referring to the volunteers that spent their night distributing food to the homeless.
Among the volunteers are also medics, who take advantage of the situation to offer medical care to those living on the street.
“They are human beings… many see them just as objects,” paramedic Andrés Parra tells Efe.
“I try to give them a dignified night, a night of happiness. Listen to them, hug them and make them feel good, at least for a moment,” he adds.
Julio César Pereira is one of the many homeless people in Caracas.
“These days, if you have no money or job, you are stuck (you can’t do anything), and at my age, what job can I be offered?” Pereira says.
Volunteers found him wandering with his 8-year-old grandson, with whom he was forced to sleep on the street.
Despite the illusion that the NGO distributes on one special night, the gesture does not change the daily reality of the people living in the street. EFE