Borderlands

Prayers for Peacemakers 8 September 2021 US/Mexico Borderlands

Every day during this time of the year, Rosalinda Sagaste Chavez goes to the garden of the DouglaPrieta Trabajan Women’s Cooperative in Agua Prieta, Sonora, to water the plants, pull weeds, and gather the ripe vegetables.  As the co-op’s director, she leads the women who grow the community garden, cook and serve meals for visitors to the border, and sew shopping bags, aprons, and other items for a business in Tucson, AZ.  During the pandemic, they have sewn thousands of facemasks.

Prayers for Peacemakers 28 July 2021 US/Mexico Borderlands

At the end of June 2021, the Migrant Resource Center (CRM for its acronym in Spanish) celebrated 15 years of support to migrants travelling in both directions on the border between Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, and Douglas, Arizona, USA.  The CRM—a collaboration of several faith-based organizations—offers food, first aid, phone calls, and information to people whom US Border Patrol has repatriated to Mexico.  Additionally, in the last 15 years, the CRM has helped Mexican citizens locate relatives who might be in detention in the US and has provided support to asylum seekers. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 June 2021 US/Mexico Borderlands

It is difficult to be optimistic about the still-closed US/Mexican border in Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieta, Sonora.  Sure, the work of organizations and volunteers meeting the needs of migrants has been heroic.  But the plight of the migrants themselves—whether those returned to Mexico with blistered feet and inadequate clothing or those who have been waiting at the shelter for over a year to request asylum at the US Port of Entry—offers little to celebrate.

Migrant needs continue to change on the US/Mexico border

I intended to submit this article reporting on the large groups of migrants that the United States Border Patrol was sending back to Mexico – all along the border – but specifically in Agua Prieta, Sonora, and the increased efforts of the volunteers at the Migrant Resource Centre (CRM for its acronym in Spanish) to assist those migrants. In December, with no advanced notice, Border Patrol began sending migrants – both Mexicans and Central Americans who had crossed to the US in other places – back to Agua Prieta

A Hope for Better Times

Many people, both migrants and residents in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, have been suffering since the Covid-19 virus arrived. The pandemic has not only affected the public health sphere but also resulted in the closure of the US/Mexican border, affecting migrants and almost everyone who is not a US citizen.

BORDERLANDS: Maria and Ernesto

In February of this year, Ernesto and Maria* arrived at the CAME (Centro de Atencion al Migrante Exodos) migrant shelter in Agua Prieta, Sonora. Fleeing extortion and threats of violence from the organized crime groups in southern Mexico’s State of Guerrero, they hoped to present their asylum claim at the U.S. Port of Entry and to live with family members in Indiana while they awaited their asylum hearing.

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 July 2020 Borderlands

Pray for the people who are still at the migrant shelter CAME (Centro de Atención al Migrante Exodus) in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico across the border from Douglas, Arizona, U.S.A.  They are losing hope that they will ever be able to request asylum in the U.S.; they are trapped in the shelter, and now they are becoming ill.  Pray that they may know God’s mercies in their lives.
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