The city of Mocoa is hundreds of miles away from Viatorians living and working in Bogotá

photo by Fox News

and in Tunja, but the families affected by this devastating flooding and mudslides are on the minds of all Colombians.

In response to the weekend disaster, officials with Colegio San Viator in Bogotá —  located nearly 400 miles away — called for Viatorian solidarity this week.

Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV

“The tragedy of all the people of Mocoa is a pain that reaches us all in one way or another,” says Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, president. “The mothers who lost their children, the families who lost everything, the children who lost their parents, and the current situation in the city is something we cannot be detached from.”

Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, far left, leads a moment of silence during a solemn flag ceremony in memory of the victims of the flooding in Mocoa

Fr. Vanegas led the entire school community in a solemn flag raising ceremony on Tuesday, where they observed a moment of silence in memory of those who died in the tragedy. The school’s flags now will be fly at half-mast for three days.

“Situations like this are the ones we as Viatorians are called upon to reach out our hand and help those in need,” he added. “Every single action we can do to help from here will be more than welcome there.”

In response to the tragedy, the nearly 1,000 students are being asked to bring in food and financial donations toward relief efforts. In addition, faculty, administration and staff members have pledged to donate a day’s salary toward humanitarian efforts in the city.