- Title: Bolivian congregation brings spirit of Christmas to homeless people
- Date: 28th December 2019
- Summary: QUINTANILLA'S PHOTO IN NEWSPAPER
- Embargoed: 11th January 2020 18:55
- Keywords: Bolivia Christmas homeless season
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA002BBW3J9F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Days before the year comes to end, dozens of volunteers were hard at work helping homeless people from La Paz get a proper hair cut, take a hot shower and eat a soothing meal.
The initiative was started by the Church of the Good Samaritan, who raise money every year to buy clothes, food and medicine for hundreds of helpless people to raise their self-esteem and bring some joy to their lives.
Thirty-nine-year-old hairdresser Luis Quintanilla is one of the frequent volunteers who offers his talent and gives up his time to cut people's hair. Quintanilla is also a councillor at the Gualberto Villarroel school and offers a kind ear and advice to those suffering from different problems ranging from addiction, health and economic turmoil.
Quintanilla is able to relate to many of these cases as he also came from a broken home and extreme poverty, which led him to start drinking from the tender age of 14.
He decided to turn his life around and quit drinking when his son was born. Although he succumbed to his addiction on several occasions, including once when he was beaten up by a homeless person, he was victorious in the end after he turned to the Church for spiritual guidance.
He now talks to youngsters about the perils of leading a life fuelled by drugs and alcohol and this have given him great satisfaction.
(Production: Monica Machicao)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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