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In December 1999, Venezuela was hit by torrential rain. As a result, SOS Children's Villages set up an SOS emergency relief programme, which lasted for four months. People were given medical supplies, tools and household implements and were also helped in their search for missing relatives … more about our charity work in Venezuela

Celebrating Christmas in Venezuela

Celebrating Christmas in Venezuela

Celebrating Christmas at a Children's Village in Venezuela

Full of hope, peace and love, children, adolescents, youths and SOS mothers from SOS Children's Village Ciudad Ojeda are looking forward to the advent of Christmas time and, with it, the birth of Baby Jesus. Just a few weeks to go until celebrating Christmas and the advent of New Year, the children and grown-ups of the village have started preparations, mentioning that among the most important presents wished for to be given by either Baby Jesus or San Nicolas (Santa Claus) are electronic cars, bicycles, skates, and dollies of different sorts.

At the Village, Christmas is a symbol, it is a hope of union and fraternity; it is about sharing as a family. For instance, all the members of the families at every house gather together for decorating the Christmas tree, making the Baby Jesus crib, and decorating the house. Skeila (12) relates: "I like the way the house is decorated, with multicolour lights and adorns, and the table for the Christmas dinner is nicely decorated, too. In the evening I like the fireworks previous to midnight and the happiness of the people who shout out loudly 'Happy Christmas' when it's 12 o'clock; and in my family we all jump to share hugs and kisses".

Skeila is a happy girl who lives at SOS Children's Village Ciudad Ojeda in Venezuela. Her mayor wish for Christmas, unlike several children of the Village, is not a gift. She states: "... to spend a good time with my family at the Village and to have the chance to meet my biological mother, and share with her as well."

A very special local tradition, too, is to cook 'hallacas' (meat and vegetables wrapped in banana leaves Venezuelan style) which can be served any time during the day before or after Christmas Eve. The children and grown-ups at the Village just love it.  11-old-year Eudy says: "The person who gives me most of my gifts is my SOS mother Carmen Luisa. She loves me a lot. She always decorates the Baby Jesus crib with me and my brothers/sisters, too, and I help her to put the lights and the sheep next to the crib. At the end, she lets me place Baby Jesus into his crib. I like doing that".

Brito, who is 9 years old, also relates: "At Christmas, I receive a lot of presents from my SOS mother Tamara and from our relatives and friends that come to visit us, bringing gifts. When they arrive, our tree, the crib, and everything else is all ready and I like when the visitors look at our tree and remark how beautiful it is".

If you would like to help a child like Skeila have the chance of a family life and a happy childhood why not sponsor a child this Christmas?

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