Valparaiso Victims – Plea from the Vincentian Family Office

by | Jul 30, 2014 | Disasters and Responses, News, Vincentian Family

ValparaisoP. Jorge Luis Rodríguez B, C.M. of the Vincentian Family Office in Rome makes this plea on behalf of the Valparaiso Victims in Chile

Valparaiso plea PDF

To the members of the Vincentian Family
Dear brothers and sisters in Saint Vincent,

As you may have seen on the news, last April 13 the city of Valparaíso in Chile suffered a disastrous fire.

The Vincentian Fathers have been serving in one of the poorest zones of  that city since 2009. The homes of many of their parishioners were destroyed, leaving the inhabitants on the street.

Several months after the disaster caused by the fire, they have been able to obtain financial  resources for the construction of only a few lodgings thanks to the support of religious communities and some institutions. Father Carlos De la Rivera, CM, Provincial Treasurer,  tells us that, with the disaster behind them, they are seeking now to help the affected families by the construction of houses approximately 30 m2, priced at $ 4,900 USD.

We are appealing to all branches of the Vincentian Family, on both the international and  national levels, by means of the Office in Rome. For those who want to contribute financially, they can do so to the following account:

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 21-0250335-2

The people will be most grateful for whatever you can do to help them.
Sincerely in Saint Vincent,
P. Jorge Luis Rodríguez B, C.M.
Vincentian Family Office


Valparaíso is the second port of Chile, with approximately 275,000 inhabitants. In 2009 the  Congregation of the Mission – Vincentian missionaries – settled in one of the poorest zones of the city, Butterfly Hill, offering pastoral care to the inhabitants of the Parish of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

The parish is made up mostly of families who live by informal work. Many of them came there from the fields, looking for a new form of life. They have constructed makeshift houses from  recycled materials: wood, cardboard, plastic, old tiles. These types of provisional neighborhoods are called “Take,” in Chile; elsewhere they are called slums. At the head of this community are Fathers Juan David Mamani, CM, and Father Pablo González, CM, both of the Province of Chile.

On April 13 of this year, a fire started which, due to the precariousness of the houses, spread  rapidly over the entire sector, affecting the majority of the families. Fortunately there was no loss of  life, but the material losses left many families in the street. Father David related to us the situation  experienced at that time: “Dear brothers, this morning I visited, together with Father Pablo  González, our affected brothers in the parochial sector. The fire affected many houses in our  parochial sector, in La Ruda Street, above the Chapel Laurita Vicuña. Also in the same La Ruda Street in the Scale or Passage 1; above the Western La Ruda, in the New Dawn Camp, where the dirt track is; and in the Camp or Mizzen “Take” several houses also were burned.”



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