Thursday, December 7

Christmas spirit defies second year of COVID-19 pandemic

Christmas returns in 2021 and we would all like to celebrate these holidays of hope and solidarity with the best news and with the happiness of being able to meet and share with loved ones.

But the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) is still with us and also its limitations, economies have not yet recovered and many have lost family and friends to the coronavirus.

Is the outlook pessimistic? Who determines it?

Last year, this time was one of the worst of the pandemic, with tens of thousands of infections and deaths, especially in cold regions of the northern hemisphere, where meetings in closed spaces increase the risk of contagion.

Now are the vaccines, and although their distribution has been uneven around the world, they have offered hope to desperate populations who in December 2020 did not see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite the new restrictions imposed in many nations after the appearance of the variant Covid-19 omicron, people want to celebrate. Airports around the world are full and the number of travelers has already doubled last year’s total on the same date.

Although at the last minute, more than 2,000 flights were canceled this Christmas holiday due to the impact of Omicron in the world.

In turn, people who have decided to migrate in search of a better future are also preparing to celebrate parties away from their own.

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, near the border with U.S (USA), thousands of migrants will spend Christmas and ring in the New Year far from their countries of origin and separated from their families.

Away from their own filial ties, a group of people of different nationalities, from Central America, passing through the Caribbean and South AmericaThey seek unity in the midst of the despair that overwhelms them.

“One can be a very man, but as a human being, one feels the nostalgia, the sadness of not being with his family group,” he said. Jose Luis Rodriguez, originally from El Salvador, to the Voice of America.

The migrants have been stranded for months in this shelter in Ciudad Juárez, where they face a Christmas with nostalgia and the illusion of seeing their American dream come true in 2022.

But many of the 200 migrants who live in the midst of precarious conditions in the shelter see their dream come true, in the face of the increasingly difficult and dangerous living conditions on the border.

“My greatest gift, I don’t know, to meet again with my mother, with my siblings, apart from the material, I would therefore believe that family unification”, assured Rodríguez.

The Christmas wishes of this group of migrants will have to wait several weeks, or even months, while their asylum applications are resolved in the US And even in the midst of the hope and joy that Christmas should also bring for them, they are aware that many will not make it to their final destination.

In Spain, migrants discover new traditions

In the middle of the sixth wave of COVID-19, Spain has everything ready to celebrate its most typical traditions. Some of them absolutely new for Latin American migrants.

In the area of ​​Catalonia, one of the traditions that children like the most is the “caga tió”, a tree trunk covered by a blanket to protect them from the cold. It is important to feed him so that, on Christmas Eve or Christmas, after singing a song in Catalan, the guy will eject gifts from his trunk under the blanket.

I think it’s cool because I’m a good friend of shit. In exchange for being his friend, he gives me sweets, “Alessandro Nava, a small Venezuelan living in Barcelona, ​​told the Voice of America.

Another custom in the area is the figure of the “caganer”, which is usually placed in the manger and is a curious custom for migrants like Melissa Luca.

“You can find these dolls from Messi, like the Pope … very important figures in the world, known, well, doing number two,” said Luca.

Although for the second year in a row this Christmas will be different due to restrictions, for migrants the family comes first.

“Despite the difficulties, being with the family is the most important thing and having a good time,” Valentina Pernalente, a Venezuelan living in Barcelona, ​​told the Voice of America.

Voice of america