Anne Reilly To Undertake Two Year Mission to San Clemente, in Peru, South America

December 8, 2014 0

There is one thing about people that live in Balbriggan and that is they are always ready to help someone in need. Anne is appealing for your support for a two year Mission to a village called San Clemente, in Peru, South America.  Read Anne’s story here and make sure to pay a visit to her pop upshop beside Balbriggan Railway Station (opposite the Boxing club) which is open for one week only…

anne_reilly_peruMy Name is Anne Reilly. I am a life-long resident of Balbriggan. In 2007 San Clemente, Peru, was hit by a major earthquake which cost many lives and devastated families, homes and businesses in the area. For the past seven years the local people have been struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives.

Tremors continue on a regular basis which adds to their fears and insecurity. Since 2010 Sr. Mary Kirkpatrick, (an Irish Notre Dame Sister from Glasgow) has been helping this community and in 2012 I spent a month with them as a volunteer. I worked in their soup/dinner kitchen where they prepared foods to sell and raise much needed funds for their community.


Further details below…

At present there is a core group of committed women who work together every day to:

  • prepare and cook meals for sale
  • create and sew pyjamas, tee shirts, blouses, blankets etc.
  • paint and decorate pillow cases, table clothes, curtains etc.
  • make yogurt.

Theirs could be called a small sustainable ‘cottage industry’, where local people use home grown materials for their local needs. They now plan to spread their wings and source markets for their goods in wider Peru. They gather daily to support each other and work to provide for their families and especially for their children’s futures.

The month I spent living in San Clemente, was a deeply moving experience. I developed life-long friendships with people with whom I could not hold a “worded” conversation due to my lack of Spanish.

annes_peru_diary_smallerOur hearts met and our smiles and gestures spoke a thousand words. I quickly learned the value of peeling the potatoes thinly, and dissecting a chicken so nothing is wasted except for the nails!!

Their parting gift to me was a shared meal, and shared song, laughter, and dance. These people don’t have many material things, the children knock on your door to get you out to play ball but they make the very most of what they have and share everything with one another.

There were tears as we said our goodbyes but I said I would be back and I now plan to return to San Clemente in Spring 2015 for a two year stay.

I am currently preparing to rent my house in Balbriggan and trying to raise some working funds to bring with me which will allow me to live within, and in solidarity with this community.

My mission is deeply rooted in my faith. I have previously spent 2 years working in Nigeria, West Africa. My prayer then and now is still the source and energy with which I live my life.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
No hands but yours,
No feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which Christ looks with compassion to the world;
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless all the world now.
(Saint Teresa of Avila)

peru2I am coming to you today to look for your support -whether through a financial donation, or by giving me an opportunity to gather other people around an activity such as:

  • bag packing locally in Super Value or Tesco.
  • donating a prize for a fundraising Quiz night in January/February 2015
  • offering me a local “pop up shop” for a week in January 2015 to facilitate a Bring and Buy venue in support of the Project.
  • by committing your group or club to run some fund raising activities over the  coming two years  which will help the project while I am in Peru.

I know times are hard for people and businesses and that charity begins at home. This is my response to a great need, in a small place, in a remote desert area of Peru where my very resilient friends are still picking up the pieces from a devastating earthquake which occurred more than seven years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. The people of San Clemente and I will gratefully appreciate whatever help you can give to this Balbriggan/ Peru Project. Any support will be very much appreciated.

Anne’s pop up shop will be open from Friday 12th to Friday 19th December from 11am to 6pm.  There is a vast array of gifts and Christmas decorations and even hats and leather jackets….your sure to find a great buy as 95% of the products are under €10!.