Life in Bahia Negra, Paraguay Is Not Easy

Written by Guy Vaccaro, Executive Director of Development, Province Center/Divine Word College


Life is not easy for the people of Bahia Negra, Paraguay nor for the Divine Word Missionaries who share in their existence. 

From poisonous spiders and snakes to arid heat to crushing poverty, it is only made worse by a corrupt government.

SVD Father Lan Tu Luong graduated from Divine Word College in 2004 and is now serving in Bahia Negra. He received a gift of more than $8,000 and said, “We will use this gift to serve and feed the hungry children in giving witness to the Risen Lord among the poor and marginalized.” It will be used to support a soup kitchen which serves a nourishing meal to 150 children every Sunday. 

“We are very grateful for the help and support from our benefactors,” said Fr. Lan. “Their generosity has helped and encouraged me to serve more faithfully and abundantly.” The impoverished people of Bahia Negra are predominantly Chamacocos, indigenous people who can trace their lineage to the land back five centuries. Facing discrimination by government authorities, their lands were taken away and sold to the wealthy, who now prevent them from hunting and fishing there. 

“We have used the funds to help build homes, provide clothing, and many other projects, besides the soup kitchen where we can serve the children as well as the elderly every Sunday,” Fr. Lan said. 

“We thank God for the generosity of our benefactors who have helped us to serve the poor and the needy in this remote region.”

On behalf of Fr. Lan and the people served in Bahia Negra, we are ever grateful for your support.

A hungry child in Bahia Negra, Paraguay receives received a donated meal
Father Lan Tu serving local resident children in Bahia Negra, Paraguay

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