In December 1999, a natural disaster known as “La Tragedia de Vargas” (Vargas tragedy) occurred in Vargas State, Venezuela. Three days of torrential rains caused flash floods and debris flows that killed tens of thousands of people, destroyed thousands of homes, and led to the complete collapse of the state’s infrastructure, leaving tens of thousands of people displaced. The government quickly moved displaced people to shelters and eventually relocated them in mass government housing throughout the country.
La Sabila, outside Barquisimeto, a city 4 hours west of Caracas, became home to over 5,000 families creating one of the worst slums in Venezuela. There are over 25,000 people in less than a 10 square mile radius, who live in extreme poverty, the majority of which are women, children and youth. This is the area where the local Hope Center in Venezuela is located; it is called the Shekina Center.
Today, more than 400 children and moms in extreme poverty come to Shekina Center to find food, medical care, trauma counseling and spiritual guidance. They have been shown Christ’s love to many who feel forgotten. At Hope Partners International, we are ready to partner with them and go further together.