Celebrating Brazil's Children's Day - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Margarita Durán does face painting in Nova Jerusalém, São Paulo, on Brazil’s Children’s Day, Oct. 12.


On Oct. 12, with a group of volunteers, we celebrated Children’s Day (Dia das Crianças) at the favela community Nova Jerusalém in Guarapiranga, São Paulo.

This is a community occupied by local Brazilians — immigrants and refugees who were previously experiencing homelessness — and it’s been growing for over a year now. The community leadership invited our collaboration in their very first Children’s Day celebration.

Our group of volunteers included men and women religious as well as lay people, all of us connected to the homeless ministry called Rede Rua (Street Network) in the city center of São Paulo.

Together we played games, danced, distributed gifts, food and most importantly shared a moment of prayer and gratitude. We had a great turnout, and a good time was had by all! We’re sure the community — especially the children — will always remember it just as much as we will.

All photos by José Iago Galvão Soares.


Tug of War

Sack race

Children in Nova Jerusalém.

Our group of volunteers in Nova Jerusalém

Margarita Durán
Margarita Durán teaches art, P.E., English and religious education to at-risk children and youth in São Paulo’s Haiti favela and at the Migrant Integration Center in the Brás neighborhood.