Shelter La 72 and the 9/19 earthquake that shook all of us in Mexico City

Since my last amazing blog adventure in August many and I mean MANY adventures have taken place that have not even allowed me to write in my blog.

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September started super busy with meetings, events, protests, the news that DACA was being resigned and then on September 7th for the first time in my life I experienced at around 10:00 pm how the earth shook. It was a horrifying feeling that little I knew that while being in Tenosique, Tabasco with migrants at the shelter “La 72”, the earth would shake again right on the same day that it shook 32 years ago, September 19th changed for all of us. After making sure my loved once in Mexico City were Ok, I get the news that we can’t go back to the room we were renting, since that day my roommate and I were just going to from one house to another until a dear friend (shout to Sheerly) allowed us to stay at her place for over a month. Special thanks to Sheerly and Willy for their love and patience. I also take a moment to thank the many many friends from all over who donated to our paypal so we would have money for our first rent, deposit and be able to cover other expenses. Thank you very much to everyone who donated, to those that offer their homes, to those that offer rides and to everyone who wrote or called us to let us know we were not alone.

 

Going back to “La 72”, a shelter for migrants right on the border between Guatemala and Mexico. As part of a project called “ Saberes Migrantes”, suddenly as the airport doors opened I felt the worst humid heat ever in my face as my team partner and I had just landed. As we arrived to the shelter, we were welcomed by one of the migrants at the door, several children came up to us, and after given a tour around the colorful and enormous place we were able to talk with women and men. I learned a lot just by talking to them, although among every story I heard there was one that got to the deepest of my heart. The story of J, he is a young boy who I guess because of his age and the fact that we could relate in terms of wanting to continue our education it was just meaningful for me.

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It was intense emotionally hard not only hearing the stories, but also going everyday to the shelter. For the first time in almost nine years since I came to Mexico having citizenship papers placed me on another side, seeing the fear of women when they saw Mexican immigration was a very confusing feeling for me since I had experienced it in 2008 when I was back home in Georgia.

 

I would love to thank all of the strong warriors I met at the shelter “La 72” and also appreciate all the work that the “Casas del Migrante” do to support people who are just in search of a better life for them and their loved once.

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Unfortunately because of the earthquake I had to fly sooner than planned, as we were on the way to the airport, suddenly immigration agents board the van and go straight directly to my friend who was being racially profiled and the only one to be ask to show his documents. It was a very frustrating moment that many of us are asked to proof our citizenship status in the country from where we supposedly belong.

 

The month when the earth shook ended with a lot of aftershocks, specially emotional once. It was a very painful mouth and yet with a lot of uncertainty for many of us.