My experience at the shelter in Mexicali, Mexico has changed my life. I am now looking at everything and everyone with different eyes. The experience was not anything I had expected! I thought there would be a building surrounded with a yard where the children could play and we would paint in small groups. Instead, we arrived at a crowded shelter with 215 immigrants—110 adults and 105 children.
Our Border Brothers & Sisters
The “Our Border Brothers and Sisters” blog series presents first-hand stories from our sisters and associates who have border experiences they would like to share. We hope these stories will open us to seeing and understanding our brothers and sisters in greater depth because, as Colum McCann once said: “You can’t hate someone when you know their story.”
I said to the 8-year-old “how lucky she was to have him help her” His response was “Well someone has to do it so I guess it’s me.” What a parent won’t do to save their children.
“Where one of us are, all of us are.” With this in mind, “we” were in San Antonio, Texas the last two weeks of November helping 80 Afghanistan refugee families settle into their new lives. Here are four snapshots of our time there.
Lilianis, su marido y sus hijos se fueron de Venezuela por necesidad, no porque quisieran. La vida económica y política de su país estaba en crisis y no podían mantenerse como familia.
Lilianis, her husband, and her children left Venezuela out of necessity, not because they wanted to. Economic and political life was in crisis in their country and they could not support themselves as a family.
I learned not just about how an Afghani family lives, what foods they eat, how they arrange their furniture, why they leave their shoes outside on the porch and how marriages are performed, I also received a warm welcome from each family member when I entered the home. In short, I felt very comfortable being with an Afghani family of the Muslim faith.