Jose C. Paz, Argentina. Members of the Toki Eder Basque club in Jose C. Paz were able to access the contents of the 34th container that arrived from the Basque city of Oñati that was full of clothing and household items that will be distributed especially at shelters that house people in extreme need. Shoes, wallets, school material, books and paint, just to name a few items donated by the town in Gipuzkoa.
As it happens with each container that arrives from Oñati to Jose C. Paz, Maria Angeles Oñederra, director at the local Toki Eder Basque club, was in charge of emptying, organizing and distributing its contents so that the donations make it to their destinations: centers in San Miguel, Jose C. Paz, Jujuy, Salta and Tucuman. According to Oñederra, “a large part of this solidarity project is done here, since we organize everything received and so we need many hands, as well as a great commitment, it’s all done by volunteers. A container can hold 19 thousand kilos of goods, 960 boxes…this is work that must be done and we do it with pleasure,” Maria Angeles proudly explains.
Looking to the future, the locals are getting ready to receive container #35 that will arrive in Buenos Aires in June or July. “Unfortunately, this will be the last one. The people in Oñati are still ready to help but unfortunately, there are so many obstacles here to getting the container out of the port, it is very expensive in money and time. The one we just opened has been here since September so that the donations make it to their destinations. We hope that things will change and that we can continue to count on this help that is so necessary for the people here. I have faith,” Oñderra says.
This solidarity project began in 2001, with the arrival of the first container in the context of the great economic and social crisis that Argentina suffered at that time. The help is one of the ways that the sister-city relationship is manifested between the cities of Jose C. Paz and Oñati, the birthplace of the founder of this city, Jose V. Altube. That is why the Basque club would like to express its gratitude to the town and city hall of Oñati as well as to everyone who has collaborated in both countries so that these donations make it to their destinations.
One of the Basque club’s priorities is to contribute with its solidarity program, but this isn’t Toki Eder’s only contribution to the community. Now in March, members of the club are finalizing their cultural program for 2016 that will include, as always, talks, workshops, classes in Basque, dance and Basque film.