Christmas In Venezuela: Santa Claus Brings Food, Medicine To Homeless People In Caracas [VIDEO]

Despite the humanitarian crisis Venezuela is experiencing, a tradition that was born 12 years ago has not stopped. Volunteers disguised as Santa Claus and Christmas elves travel the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, distributing bags with food and basic products for the most vulnerable people in the country.

Christmas in Venezuela feels gray and somber, until these good Samaritans, as an act of solidarity, come to paint a smile on the faces of those forgotten by the government. "I hope that they provide much of what people need in the streets," is the wish of Joel Rodriguez, a homeless person in a wheelchair and to whom Santa Claus gave him a bag of food. "Many times they look at us from the shoulder down because we live on the streets and sometimes we have to eat from the garbage."

As presented by the AFP videoreport in Caracas, there are no lights or Christmas decorations, so the action of these volunteers stands out in a country that struggles every day to survive. Children of all ages run to hug Santa Claus and receive one of the bags with food, medicine, toys and clothes.

In order for the Christmas operation to be carried out successfully, hundreds of people congregate under a tent to classify the products and prepare ham and cheese sandwiches. The founder of the initiative, Carlos De Veer, told AFP that the activity is based exclusively on people's volunteering.

Volunteers Volunteers Dressed As Santa Claus Deliver Aid To The Needy In Venezuela. Photo: YouTube

According to Cáritas - a confederation of more than 160 members working in the bases in almost every country in the world, when a crisis occurs, only in Caracas 5 to 6 children per week die due to malnutrition. Susana Rafalli, a member of the Cáritas organization in Venezuela, revealed to the Italian newspaper Avverine that in the coming months a total of 280,000 malnourished children could be dying by hunger. "The level of child malnutrition has exceeded the threshold of the humanitarian emergency," Rafalli explained. "It is disastrous that 33% of the children have delays in their growth, this physical and mental damage is irreversible."

The crisis in Venezuela has spiraled into a humanitarian crisis, where food shortages, skyrocketing inflation and a plummeting currency are just a few issues that caused the country to become the world's worst economy.

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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.