Christmas for All?

Cuzco’s plaza fills with people this day, just like on so many others. The sun shines for now, though at some point the scattered clouds will come together and throw down a rain shower or two.

In front of the Cathedral, the municipality has built a straw covered, open walled shelter to cover a paper maché manger scene of long necked individuals made by the famous Mendívil family of Cuzco. Christmas is here and you can feel the excitement.

However, an undercurrent churns with the mainstream joy.

It was perhaps best expressed by a young man who spends his days near the Plaza selling paintings made by others, even if sometimes he claims to be the artist.

Today I want to tell you about Christmas. These days are so sad for many people. There will be many people who will be on the Plaza at Christmas and many of these people will not receive a Christmas gift.

That is why Christmas makes me sad.

So much will be happening during this Christmas. There will be so many activities. I just wish that all could have some presents and that they could all go home to celebrate with their families and be happy.

Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli
Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli

Many will just have their frustrations and sadness. They will have to wait for another year to see if their dreams will come true.

That is all I can write about Christmas.

This twenty-year old young man has been working in the streets of Cuzco since he was ten years old. His parents sent him from their rural village to work in the city in part because they could not afford to raise and educate him. He had to work.

He is like hundreds of other children and youths, some with families and some without, for who the cheer of Christmas will ring hollow.

They will be left out, once again, this year. This young man will get a present his year, though he does not know that yet. Nevertheless, we can only hope along with him that next year will be better for all the children and youths.

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