An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

THE ENGLISH IN BUENOS AIRES Part 2

THE ROPARIA



I work every Wednesday afternoon in La Roparia of St. John's Anglican Cathedral. I also help out with the Rincon de las Mujeres, who come to the church on Wednesday to knit and crochet and take a lovely formal English afternoon tea.

It's a form of outreach the church offers to the homeless people of downtown Buenos Aires, most of whom live on the street. Our Roparia is the only place these folks can "go shopping" with dignity and a polite person helping them to decide what they want and what looks good on them. There is a tiny dressing room with a mirror. They are allowed to select one complete outfit every two months.

But the other day, we had hardly anything to give out. It was so frustrating when the need is so great. The folks who come "shopping" are respectful and polite, and so grateful. We also try to give out soap and shampoo, deodorant, a plastic razer to the men, if we have them. And when we can, we make packets of yerba and sugar so that they can have their mate.

In winter it's especially difficult not to have warm sweaters and coats for them. But here in Argentina it's not like in the States where people throw away wonderful clothes as good as new all the time. When we receive donations to the Roparia, often the items are filthy and unusable.

My plea is if anyone has clothing that they no longer need, perhaps you will consider donating it to the Roparia. Mostly we need men's clothes, especially jeans and pants, socks and shoes, jogging suits, sweaters. Often the only thing standing in the way of a man getting a job is a decent set of clothing.

If you have a bag of clothing and/or personal items to donate and can drop it by the church (25 de Mayo 282), please call to make sure someone will be there to receive it. (4342-4618) Or if it is easier to bring it by my house in Boedo, send me an email or leave a comment here, and we can make it happen.

God bless you.

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