The first community formed in Uruguay, Emmaus Nuevo Paris opened its doors to political prisoners and exiles after the general amnesty, declared in 1985 after almost 10 years of military dictatorship. Fifty companions now work there and run a second-hand shop which pays for the community’s social initiatives. The community also donates goods to people living in extreme poverty.

At its technical school, Emmaus Nuevo Paris trains up to 100 young people from the local area in cookery, hairdressing and electronics. Their aim is to get them back into the education system. As well as vocational training, young people at the technical school benefit from workshops in health education and teamwork for example, art classes and the services of a psychologist and social worker. An after-school nursery also looks after 29 children from ages 1 to 6.