The website of the Peruvian magazine Revista Embajador is reporting on the presence of a group of 13 Basque health professionals and the arrival of two million dollars’ worth of technical and healthcare material donated by Basque society and managed via the Basque Government and Doctors without Borders to help in the fight against COVID-19 there.

Peru is one of the countries that has been hardest hit by the global pandemic.  The situation is especially difficult in rural areas, even more so in the Amazon jungle.  There, specifically in the Loreto and San Martín regions, is where these acts of Basque solidarity are focusing on.  It’s a very large area, stretching across the north of the country, between the Andes and the Colombian border.

However, Basque solidarity in the Peruvian Amazon is nothing new for those who live there.  They’re well familiar with the commitment some Basque volunteers have, as they’ve been working for the most needy there for over a century.

Our readers will also be familiar with these Basques who left everything behind to go into a dense jungle where everything needed to be done.  We are of course referring to the community of Basque Passionists who have been there in Yurimaguas and Moyobamba since 1913.  It all started when twelve missionaries left the Convent of San Felicísimo in Deusto to start what is without a doubt one of the most epic journeys of the Basques.

We’ve written a lot about their immense work, which goes far (far, far, far) beyond proselytizing.  So, we’re sharing two articles here which we believe are fundamental for understanding this work.

First is the one telling the more than 100 years of work this group of mostly Basque Passionist missionaries has carried out to “save souls”, quickly understanding that this could only be achieved by helping them become free people.

Secondly, we have the interview with Jesús María Aristin, who has been the Apostolic Administrator for the Vicariate of Yurimaguas in the Loreto region, and was recently named the Apostolic Vicar of Yurimaguas by Pope Francis, making him the fifth bishop to hold the title, all of whom have been Basque.  This interview is essential to understand their hard work and dedication.

Revista Embajador – 5/8/2020 – Peru

ONG internacional junto con el País Vasco brindan cooperación al Perú

Respiradores, equipos de ventilación mecánica no invasiva, equipos de alto flujo, monitores, medicamentos y equipos de protección personal son los productos que han sido donados al Perú por parte de la ONG Médicos sin Fronteras, en coordinación con el País Vasco, Comunidad Autónoma de España.

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Passionists in Peru: more than 100 epic years in Amazonia

Interview with Jesús María Aristín, Bishop of Yurimaguas. The epic journey of the Basque Passionists in Peru