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 published: 2007-09-18

Going to a place where dignity is out of reach

Youth mission group goes to a very distant village in northern Argentina


Treffen der Mädchenjugend in Atibaia, Brasilien

Niños wichis

Wichi children

Kinder aus dem Stamm der Wichi


Die Königin der JUFEM (Mädchenjugend)

Una mujer wichi cargando a su hijo

A wichi woman carrying her son

Eine Wichi trägt ihr Kind

Das Zepter  

La pesca es uno de sus medios de vida

Fishing is a way to earn a living

Fischfang dient dem Lebensunterhalt


Una construcción de barro y ramas

A house made out of mud and wood

Ein Haus aus Lehm und Holz


Algunas escuelas rurales funcionan con energía solar

Rural schools use solar energy

Schulen nutzen Sonnenenergie

Fotos: Tomás Garzón © 2007




ARGETNINA, Tomás Garzón, A group of eleven young boys and girls from Buenos Aires left Monday, September, 17th for Santa Victoria Este, a very small settlement near the Argentine borders with Bolivia and Paraguay. For one whole week, they will look to share moments of conversation, games, and prayers with the local inhabitants and aborigines. Above all, their goal will be to awaken in them the conscience of being God’s children, even in conditions of isolation and extreme poverty.

Around the year 2000, a group of Argentine doctors wanted to continue the legacy of an American physicist who for decades had traveled to Africa to assist many people living in misery. A close friend to the leader of this group insisted that they could do the same thing on Argentine soil: he meant going to Santa Victoria Este. Since then, this team has been going twice a year to deliver medicine and give health care to the people in this remote village.

Jorge Jaunarena is a medical student who participates in the Schoenstatt Boy’s Youth in Buenos Aires. In 2006 was his first time to travel with the doctors to Santa Victoria, and ever since that time he has been dreaming of a youth mission in the same place. But in this mission, they would be going to give spiritual solace to locals. Thanks to the support of one of the doctors and the Schoenstatt Movement in general, this idea is taking place against all odds.

Can we do something?

It is of utmost importance to think deeply about such an issue: "What do these people need? What can we give them? Is it worth while going there?" Santa Victoria is not only far away, but also culturally and economically diverse. That’s why the decision to go there took time dedicated to thinking, preparation, conversation, and prayer. Missionaries are certain that, even when the results of a mission or its future are unpredictable, it’s still worth doing.

Wen O´ Akwey, Give out your hand in Wichi, the language of local people was the name given to the mission, reflecting its true spirit. We want to give out our hand to the places in our nation where indifference and lack of opportunities prevail over solidarity and caring. Even for just one week, we want to share with others the only thing there is to share in such circumstances: human dignity and the dignity of being God’s children. Bottom line, it’s all about playing with the youngest, getting to talk with the eldest, collaborating in daily needs or teaching them how to pray.

We also need help!

This kind of purpose is seldom a result of a small group’s effort, but rather of a whole community’s good will and support. That’s our approach to Wen O´ Akwey: we need both financial and spiritual assistance. We’re convinced that our project is valuable, and thus we firmly believe God will make it possible.

The expenses of traveling to Santa Victoria are extremely high. First, we need to get to Salta, which is 1,000 miles away from Buenos Aires, and then it’s another twelve hours to our final destination. Of course, there are other expenses to pay for including the cost of food. To give assistance to the mission, you may contact Jorge Jaunarena ( or Agustín Trovato ( There is very little time before our departure, so we hope we can count with your help and prayers. We thank you all and commit to give our best in Santa Victoria Este and to pray for each and every one of you.


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