Happy Fathers Day!
Here in South America, do you know how many fathers it takes to change a light bulb?
Today is also World Refugee Day!
“Happy Day” to the over 80 million people displaced in the world. You get a day too.
Could we please introduce you to one?
Please meet Inaky.
Inaky departed from Venezuela 3 years ago, and now calls the town of Puerto Lopez Ecuador home. With a heavy heart, he left his family in Caracas as he felt there was not a future, no work, and plenty of danger.
Now in Puerto Lopez, he has worked many jobs doing his best to survive and lives alone with his giant and sweet dog Ragnark. He has also become a great part of A Ripple, as together we help some of the estimated 500,000 Venezuelans here in Ecuador.
Inaky has a great heart and eye for noticing his countrymen as they pass through looking for jobs and housing. He is stern with parents that leave their children alone on busy streets to beg, but also caring to all as he guides them through looking for employment and shelter. From Manta and the Santa Marianita area to Puerto Lopez, he’s given out hundreds of Dignity/Hygiene Kits to those that need them. He’s guided us to families that need water filters and now runs our short term housing for refugees as they get settled, enjoy a roof, and look for work. Not an easy task.
When he has extra money from working his many low paying jobs, he sends it home to his mother in Venezuela, the country with the worlds worst economy.
When Inaky has a moment of pause, he missis his mother and even though locally he’s known and respected by all, at times feels alone. When thinking of home he says, “I want to go but it’s not possible to stay there like before. Just to see my mother and grandparents, but I can not stay there because it’s another mouth for food”.
It’s always important to remember that 1 in 10 people on planet earth do not have a safe place to call home. 80 million of our neighbors don’t want to be migrants and refugees, but feel no choice but to try and start a new life. As Inaky says, “this is the best chance for work, for living, for have security, for live the day and try and not just survive.”
Thank you Inaky for all that you do for A Ripple and especially for your countrymen in a foreign land. You have helped hundreds, as we’ve seen daily. Even though your world is far from perfect, you take the time and effort to assist those around you. Venezuela’s loss is Ecuador’s gain.