This is my 2nd day at the RGV Catholic Charities Respite Center. I am so glad to be here. The way things work down here in South Texas is that when folks cross the border seeking asylum, (and they present with probable cause for asylum) they are sent to the detention center, and after a period of time (mostly too long), they are taken to this respite center where they receive food, clothes, medical care and hopefully a bus ticket to a waiting family member who is supposed to pay for the ticket.
We are seeing about 300 people/day at this point. It is supposed to get busier. Folks complain of freezing to death at the detention centers and often come out sicker than when they went in. It seems like folks usually make it onto a bus within 1-3 days (under best circumstances). Most people today were from Honduras, rest from Guatemala and El Salvador. So kind and so ready to connect in ways that are truly of the heart. I can see how families are broken up because the men need a child to accompany them to have a hope of crossing successfully and the women and other children wait hopefully for the reunion to come. It seems like such wishful thinking but to a people who probably don’t have many other alternatives, it is the best. Children are often confused and scared and the fathers seem incredibly close and committed to their children. One father today said it cost $8,000 to pay for him and his son to cross. He needed to work asap to pay this back and earn the money to bring his wife and other children across. They have suffered extortion and violence and are hoping for a new life. People at the crossroads. Hope is the fuel for their lives. Most have been traveling for at least one month.
We are in the process of moving to a new facility so in between patients we are packing and everything is pretty chaotic. I guess I don’t have much more to report tonight. Genevieve always reminds me that the white savior complex too often includes telling other people’s stories that maybe shouldn’t be shared. Maybe should be private/respected. I agree with that and yet…. I share these stories. Maybe they are more about us and what we have created and how we have this incredible opportunity to be better because of them. Also, I said yesterday that I was afraid there was little help in the Mexican shelters. I don’t know that and I DO know that people from Mexico have been very kind to the caravan and people from MX are trying to protect the people waiting on the bridges and they are giving aid. They are probably doing so much more than we are in the face of all of their challenges.
Need to go to bed now and recuperate but so look forward to tomorrow. I love all of you, Georgia
We need to help them! We are raising funds for medicines at this time.