Roberto Costa Prats never knew where the path he chose in life would take him. Confiding in God, his first love, Prats took into his hands a social organization on the brinks of shutting down and convinced Uncle Paco that this organization had a future. Both men being Jesuits and both having the motto of doing the most universal good, they laid the foundations for the Hogar de Cristo (home of Crist) we are presenting today.
And just like that began the first adventure, in a city that three decades ago was known for its absence of homes and enjoyed the sad celebrity of being a city with the third largest housing shortage in the world. However, over the years and through the structural crisis in Latin America, we saw that the houses we produced were in danger of becoming coffins for families who inhabited them because these people had neither jobs, nor good health, nor education. These people may very well die of starvation and disease under the roof of the “home cure” of Hogar de Cristo and life would carry on as if nothing happened.
It was necessary to trigger a turning point and begin to understand otherwise. It was then that we began to think about other proposals from and with the population, and our first attempts to concoct what they call “development.” The poor taught us to see the world differently and realize that the answers to their problems were more consistent if they participated in the design of their own solutions, programs and projects. And just like that, they gradually ceased to be “beneficiaries” and instead become members of our project, to understand each other as people seeking the recovery of our full citizenship and restitution of our rights.
During this adventure we have experienced it all. Appreciated by some and stigmatized by others, we value being a sign of contradiction and have thus been able to define more clearly what we seek and want. But it is in these lines of presentation where we’ll tell you this: It is you, dear readers, who form an idea of who we are and help us by giving us your criticism, fraternal correction and support. Welcome to the institutional memory of Hogar de Cristo.