Saint Jean Mondesir, born on October 12, 1987 and Nativa Beauzine, born on December 23, 1988 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti are now our neighbors. Monde arrived in Chile at the end of 2016, and then after a year of applications and processes, in December of 2017 Nativa was able to travel.
Our house had some unused rooms, and we were asking ourselves how and what we could do with that space. In community the desire emerged helping in a concrete way and sharing the place with some people who are experiencing the painful situation of having to emigrate from their homelands to other countries in search of better opportunities. In our town, there is a growing number of people in this situation.
Tierra Amarilla is small, and for that reason we and our neighbors know each other rather well. One day Aurora’s husband spoke to us about a Haitian man that she used to see every day waiting for transportation. We shared with him our concern and desire to welcome an immigrant into our house, and that we would like to meet Monde, the person that he used to see daily waiting for transportation. In this way Monde was to become our neighbor.
Monde came to the house, and we asked him where he was living; he told us that he was renting a small room, with the kitchen and bathroom shared with other families. He added that the place was very noisy, as many large trucks passed along that street carrying minerals to the port. Also, he commented that there were many tenants in that very small space. We invited him to our house to see the rooms. His eyes lit up, immediately he told us that he would be interested in moving. It is at that point that he told us about Nativa, his partner, whom he has known since 2009.
I imagine that you must be wondering how Monde and Nativa were making a living and where they were working. Tierra Amarilla is known as a town where grapes are cultivated for export. This is the field in which they work. Athough they do not have permanent residence, they need only an identity card to be contracted. The salary that they receive allows them to live with the basic necessities. Day to day they spend as little as possible in order to save and send some money to their families in Haiti. They have been with us for three munths, and now they are three, as Nativa is in her sixth month of pregnancy.
Monde has gone through many jobs, he was in construction, he worked as a security guard in a company, he harvested lemons, all hard work. Before coming to Chile he was a businessman selling electronic goods.
Preparing to welcome Monde and Nativa we had time to refurbish the rooms, with a place for the kitchen and dining room. Also, relying on the generous economic support of a couple, members of the ACI Family, Ignacio and Pilar, we were able to buy them a refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine. We wanted them to have what they needed to live. The move to our house was very quick, as there was not much to bring. In this task we were helped by July and Franklin, who live on the premises of the parish.
Now that they have settled in, we see how happy they are and appreciative that the space that they are living in gives them independence and allows them to grow in their sense of family. Yes, we see that they are happy, sharing life with several of their Haitian friends who visit them in their new house. Often we hear them speak fluently and happily in their own language.
Today they continue to share their dreams with us. Monde hopes to continue working and to earn more money; he want to marry Nativa and have three children. He hopes to return to Haiti someday, and that this moment, which is so difficult for Chile, may pass quickly.
Nativa’s dream is to take care of the new life that she is expecting, and to reunite here in Chile with her first daughter who is still living in Haiti. We pray that their dreams may become a reality.
Beatriz Garrido, aci