Peter vistiting Hogar de Cristo – 06.2019
We received a visit from the Gringo of “Aqui te las traigo Peter”
By María Teresa Villafrade
The famous host of the program of TVN, Peter Murphy, wanted to come to get to know the Hogar de Cristo, motivated by a social interest that dates back from to his childhood when he accompanied his father in volunteer work. Today, he wants to do the same with his son of two and a half years, Quentin. Here is his first approach to this goal.
Few know that Peter Murphy, a sociologist by profession and the famous gringo who learns with a lot of grace and humour the professions of Chile in the program of on TVN, “Aqui te las traigo Peter”. Many also don’t know that his first job in his home country, the United States of America, consisted of accompanying people, living on the streets, who were affected by HIV.
“Being a father and working for years in vulnerable schools with educational programs and outings with La Bicicleta Verde, I feel responsible to contribute with my personal and professional experience of the contexts in which my son and the children are developing. We have helped on an educational level, but as a father, I also have a duty outside of the school timetable. Just because our efforts are small, they are no excuse to stop doing them. I want to teach my son Quentin the same thing that my parents taught me when I was young and that is to worry about others, to do volunteer work in my spare time” he said while touring the house of refuge Josse Van Der Rest that gives shelter, food and care for 90 elderly adults in a situation of high vulnerability.
Affable, easy-going and very cordial, Peter greets everyone enthusiastically and poses for selfies similar to a celebrity without really being one inside. He tells us that since he arrived in Chile 14 years ago, he has two businesses focused mainly at tourists: La Bicicleta Verde and Tours 4 Tips, which gives tours in exchange for tips. But what has given him more notoriety has been the cultural television program, as a new season on Sundays will begin in July. On one day he is an organ grinder, another day he is a kite maker, an apprentice of pole dancing etc.
I am very happy to get to know smaller towns and their customs. I like this country very much. My partner is Chilean and my son is a gringo-Chilean, and I spend as much time with him as I can. I want to volunteer with Quentin, as much as both of us can, because I still travel some six or seven times a year to the United States” he recounts in perfect Spanish.
One of the guests, Cristian Martinic, who lived in New York for nearly all of his life, took advantage of the opportunity to converse in English with Peter Murphy, who was pleasantly surprised by his impeccable accent. “Congratulations,” he said.
A visit that touches his heart.
Just On the day of his visit, the workshop of Fundación Expreso was in operation. Every Monday and Wednesday it carries out cooperative work with the people welcomed by Hogar de Cristo, in which they work with recycled wood and make beautiful boards which are later sold.
Francisco Ditborn, the volunteer workshop leader, who is wheelchair-bound and has difficulty communicating, wrote on his whiteboard:
“We need your help”, in which Peter gladly promised to give, promising to disseminate the important task in his social media, and by restoring dignity to those who have lost everything.
Claudio Leiva, head of the refuge house Josse Van Der Rest, tells the visitor all the other activities which the other volunteers do and invites him to join whenever he wants because the doors of the Hogar de Cristo are always open to everyone.
Finally, we asked Peter Murphy what he thought of his experience of getting to know the Hogar de Cristo and he responded “it touches your heart. A mixture of happiness that someone is doing it, shame that we are not doing it anymore and a shame that I have not done more presently, supporting when I can, when I should. My first job after leaving university in the United States was welcoming people with AIDS who lived on the streets and help them to have more support, to accompany them so that they can find refuge houses similar to the Hogar de Cristo. This job was one of the best moments of my life. So to visit these old memories again, but in Chile, it touches my heart.”
Translated from : Hogar de Cristo. Recibimos la visita del gringo de “Aquì te las traigo Peter”. Jun 2019. Available at: https://www.hogardecristo.cl/noticias/recibimos-la-visita-del-gringo-de-aqui-te-las-traigo-peter/