A report by Amalia Tornini, Member of the Board of Directors “Casa de María”, El Peñon, Chile

Those who thought that this terrible pandemic was about to peak and that the contagion was decreasing were wrong. There are still strict traveling restrictions for most of the metropolitan areas in our city of Santiago and other districts in the rest of the country. It is very serious for families not to know how long the crisis will last. Five months have passed and we are still in quarantine.

The activities of our social project in the “Casa de María” have not been stopped. Sister Marisol does not allow herself to be stopped to continue to support the people in “El Peñon”. In doing so, she can count on her entire loyal team of volunteers, who are always at her side.

Problems with the online workshops

At the beginning we were able to successfully start our online workshop. Our children appeared on the screen: Matias, Vicente, Benjamín, Gonzalo, Pia, Sofía, Ignacia, among others. But sometimes we couldn’t hear them, or their online connection kept dropping because the internet connection was too weak or the PCs were in poor condition. In some households the technical equipment was missing or they had no connection at all.

Smartphone and computer donations help

Thanks to the generosity of some people, we had the chance to procure some computers and smartphones so that our children and mothers could work with these valuable devices, because during quarantine, online connection is the only way to communicate. It was a nice and big surprise for Fernando and Pia to receive their new PCs. Their happy faces showed it.

What a joy it was for Matias, Consuelo and Angel to receive their smartphones! From now on they can take part in your online workshops without interruption.

Learn online and experience community at the same time

Casa de Maria, El Peñon

Since some of the mothers from the “Women’s Knitting Workshop” were disconnected, they felt isolated. This time, Ester and Carmencita were the chosen ones to receive a smartphone. They were able to integrate into the online workshops immediately. Under the leadership of Macarena, the 18 participants have been able to get in touch with each other for two weeks using “Zoom”; not only to learn something new while knitting, but also to feel accompanied. The online connection is a great way to see each other and be together in an intimate circle. They can cheer each other up, but also share fears, insecurity, stress and worries in order to be able to endure this long isolation together.

Now we can count on the full presence of the children and women in our online workshops!

Monthly food donations

The economic crisis and with it unemployment have become chaotic, so Sister Marisol decided to deliver boxes of groceries to all members of our social program every month from March onwards. The families shouldn’t go hungry: they get milk, yoghurt, rice, oil, sausages, pasta, sugar, etc., everything they need for cooking. Sister Marisol and our “Chabelita”, who is always there to help Sister Marisol, are ready to buy more groceries to distribute to the workshop participants. Many families also get gas containers for cooking.

High level of commitment from the volunteer team

Our nurse, psychologist and psychiatrist are still online and ready to respond to inquiries from those affected. They also deliver the necessary medicines every month or when necessary.

It is a huge pleasure for our team of volunteers that the workshops for children and adults are still running successfully, as they have given their best and mastered this challenge with creativity in record time.

COVID-19 has upset us all. “Casa de María” is a light of hope and a helping hand that alleviates the pain of many people.


Password: El Peñón, Chile

Mission center of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Mount Schoenstatt 6
56179 Vallendar
Tel .: (0261) 64 04-311

Bank details: LIGA Bank eG
IBAN: DE10 7509 0300 0000 058920