In Peru, Christmas is the one of the most cherished times of the year. Sponsored children and families at our PINIFE site in Peru eagerly anticipate the Christmas season and joyfully celebrate together. During this time, they share love and warmth not only with each other, but with those in need throughout their community through thoughtful gifts and acts of service.
Sr. Yolanda, our PINIFE site director, explains this loving Christmas tradition: “Just as our sponsored children and families experience the love of their sponsors throughout the year, they want to extend that solidarity to other children, elders, sick people and families in need, with the spirit of joy and hope brought by baby Jesus during this holy season.”
Last Christmas, one Family Circle chose two children in need from their community and surprised them with the gift of new shoes, clothing, and a special Christmas meal. Another Family Circle, inspired by this idea, invited a few children to enjoy an afternoon of games and hot chocolate!
During this joyous season, a family in the community was facing difficult times. A mother and her children had to flee from her abusive husband, and were uprooted from their home. Each Family Circle came together to offer the family their support and solidarity, and donated some small Christmas presents to the children.
Closer to Christmastime, families, children, and staff came together for a beautiful shared Christmas celebration. “Each family was excited to bring a meal to share with everyone,” says Sr. Yolanda. Many traditional Peruvian dishes were enjoyed, such as papa a la Huancaína (potatoes and egg with sauce,) panetón (sweet bread) and pollo a la brasa (roasted chicken). After the meal, families joined in prayerful reflection, and sang a beautiful Christmas carol to enthusiastically celebrate the arrival of baby Jesus.
At the end of the celebration, a Christmas basket was presented to each sponsored child. Each basket contained sweet bread, two bags of sugar, two cans of milk, preserved peaches, cocoa powder, oatmeal, and chocolates. The families were overjoyed by the kind gesture.
Many of these festivities and warm moments wouldn’t have been possible without the many loving contributions to our Christmas fund from our supporters. “The children and families express their gratitude to the kind sponsors that made it possible for them to live out the Christmas holiday,” Sr. Yolanda smiles. “Thank you for the moments of happiness that inspire us to live out this Christmas holiday every day of the coming year by making the love of God visible to us. You help us to unite families, and help children learn to share with others!”