During the Coronavirus pandemic, we lost a great figure in the struggles for land and housing in Latin America, Asia and Africa: the Cura van der Rest. His organization SELAVIP, Latin American, Asian and African Service for Popular Housing, is part of HIC.
Josse van der Rest, of Belgian origin, comes from a family of wealthy construction industrialists (Eternit). He joined the Society of Jesus in 1944 and was delegated to Chile in 1958, where he has lived ever since, when he was not traveling the world.
He learned the Spanish language and the harsh living conditions of the people by living in camps in Santiago, the settlements that emerged from the “toma” (land occupation) and the commitment to self-construction. There he learned a baroque language, from the street, without grammar or literature, full of swearwords.