"The poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” - Luke 7
“Now I can die peacefully,” said Francisca de Chamorra, an 82-year-old widow who moved to the shanty in 1952. “It’s a miracle that a pope has come to this muddy place.” - pope francis visits bañado norte asuncion paraguay
Francis has referred frequently during his week-long trip tour of South America to the plight of the region’s landless poor, encouraging them to work together.
On Sunday, he said he wanted to visit Banado Norte*, a neighborhood of shacks of plywood and corrugated metal on the banks of the River Paraguay, to encourage residents’ faith despite the difficulties they encounter. In addition to the lack of services, heavy rains regularly burst the Paraguay River banks and turn Banado Norte’s dirt roads into impassable pools of mud.
Francis said he wanted “to see your faces, your children, your elderly, and to hear about your experiences and everything you went through to be here, to have a dignified life and a roof over your heads, to endure the bad weather and the flooding of these last few weeks.”
Some of the estimated 100,000 residents shrieked as Francis walked by, reaching out to touch his white cassock and snap a photo with their cellphones. - Source
*Many residents of Banado Norte are squatters on municipal land who have come from rural areas in the northeastern part of the country where farmland has been increasingly bought up by Brazilians and multi-national companies. - Source
In this May 29, 2015 photo, members of Palacios-Espinola family eat breakfast outside their shack home in the Banado Norte neighborhood of Asuncion, Paraguay. The family said they earn about $100 dollars total per month by collecting and selling aluminum cans and plastic. From left are one-year-old Dana, Victoria, four-year-old Deidamia, Candida and Sergio. JORGE SAENZ — AP Photo
Bonus - On our lack of awareness of problems which affect the poorest of the poor:
This [lack of "awareness of problems which especially affect the excluded"] is due partly to the fact that many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world’s population. (49) - Laudato Si'