An especially jolly laundry

The jolly group of The Blue Balloon laundry

We innocently went to wash our clothes to the sole Laundry of Chos Malal; when we went inside we met Rosa and Irma, and behind them a very special group of young people, VERY special. They never stop laughing and making jokes, it was not possible to let it go. We started asking questions and they told us how this integration project started. Seventeen years ago, around 1995, a group of families whose kids assisted the Special School Nr 11, wanted to stimulate even more the progress made along the years and created a laundry called “El Globo Azul” (The Blue Balloon) providing them with a job opportunity. Rosa has been in charge of it for 17 years and Irma for 8 years, both of them used to work at the School and joined the Project. Continue reading

“The Quixote of the Andes”

Family with eight kids

This is how they know Mauricio Alarcón Vidal at the other side of the Andes Mountains. The Customs officers talked to us about him after telling them about our project. Mauricio climbs the mountains to visit the houses of the most humble area of the region and the second most poor of Chile. The 3 officials contacted immediately the Carabineros (police) to get us the phone number of the Quixote. They even called him and he told us that he would be waiting for us at his home. We took a sinuous gravel road going down the mountain to meet him. We arrived there on a Friday night, he welcomed us with a smile, not understanding much why we were there, but with an open heart to talk and get to know each other. He welcomed us with a “mate” (traditional type of infusion from Argentina) that had a drawing of Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina, and its typical dance, the Tango. This is how, after 2 hours of conversation without even noticing it, he told us about how it all started. Eleven years ago, when he was just 22 years old, he met all these people who live modestly up in the mountains, isolated and forgotten. Continue reading

“Our Friends”

Our friends and volunteers

Our Friends = those who we choose to share different moments, they go with us and help us to double the joys and divide in two the sadness.

In San Martín de los Andes, Argentina, Father Fernando without a second thought took us to a joyful group of volunteers who call “Our Friends” to the men they find abandoned in the streets, forgotten and generally with too much booze. Continue reading

Don Carlos and Don Raúl

Giving hands

We were the first surprised ones. Without much research, a friend, who is almost a brother, gave us the contact info of Carlos, who convinced us of the type of vehicle to buy for the project. Without even knowing it, he was starting to participate in this adventure. We went to meet him with a thousand practical questions; he opened the doors to his house, shared his experience and helped us get organized and the most important thing: he invited us to eat the most delicius “milanesas” of the whole world made by his wife Ana. He gave us lots of stuff, he searched through all his garage to find things that could prove useful for us, he even introduced us to a group of happy and open minded people to whom we asked lots of questions. It is obvious that we ended that day exhausted. Too much information, anxiety, and obviuosly many thoughts going inside our heads that generated more questions just after leaving the house. Continue reading

The Great Mamerto

The Great Father Mamerto Menapace

Like he said in an interview that I once read: “My name is Mamerto (in spanish could be understood as someone clumsy)  but it is not what I do”. Great. Genius. A wonderful person, overflows happiness, transparency, simplicity and wit. He doesn’t take a break during our conversation, he listens, quickly processes everything and answers back with a tale, while we take a minute to linger on his words… a great attitude and faith, both enviables. Continue reading

Welcome everyone!

Welcome to “Sharing America”!

We are working on the English version to keep you up-to-date with the stories of these silent heroes.

Thanks for your patience!

You’ll be noticing some changes sooner than you know…