The Community is a friend to the elderly in Cuba, in the time of the pandemicCubaCovid-19
"The Community has flourished in the pandemic" are the words of Isabel, an 80-year-old woman and member of the "Long live the elderly" movement in Santiago de Cuba.
A Community of Sant'Egidio lives in this beautiful seaside city, about 900 km from the capital. It is the second largest city in the south- eastern side of the island
The city had important European influences, Spanish but also French and Italian, that left signs in its culture and architecture.
It was also a gateway for African slaves employed in harvesting and refining cane sugar. Indeed, it is the 'blackest' city, i.e. with the highest density of people from the African continent.
Here Sant'Egidio has set up the "Long live elderly" programme. The young people of Sant'Egidio are making a difference in various neighbourhoods - Maceo, Cicharrones, Flores and Martí - and are succeeding in giving hope back to many people.
Local authorities and academics also collaborate in the programme, and the Medicine Faculty has set up a Chair in "Long Live Elderly" , giving students the chance to do an internship and monitor more than 200 elderly people living alone..
In the time of the pandemic, while respecting the necessary restrictions and the 1 p.m. curfew, the Community intensified its activities. Even prayer and meetings in small groups have never stopped. Some young people have known the Gospel through their encounter with the Community. And there was a celebration with some young people who were baptised by Father Frederic Comalat after catechesis with the Community.