“It saddens me that I left all my work behind."
"I was working at the community center, weighing children and visiting mothers who had just given birth. That was my job, to check what condition they were in. I worked in that field for 5 years, in an office for people in need. We also gave out food: rice, flour, vegetable oil. I also worked in the church, the Catholic Church, and that's what I really miss. The work, the service - it saddens me that I left all my work behind."
When she could no longer afford to pay extortion fees, gang violence tore her away from the community she loved. "The truth is I didn't realize what was happening. All I knew was that they jumped me, and then I didn't feel anything. It wasn't until 2 hours later that I came to. They beat up my daughters, and they beat me up. They took all my money. Then I received a call saying if I was still there when they returned, they would kill me and kidnap my daughters."
This mother of three expressed a determination to continue and to make her asylum court hearing in May in El Paso no matter what. "If we don't make it to our court hearing, everything we've lost, everything we've spent will be for nothing. I don't know how to read or write, but thanks be to God, he gives me the strength to continue."
These stories are from people who arrived at the Kino Border Initiative's comedor (dining room) in Nogales, Mexico from January to March 2020. Each person not only gave permission for their story to be shared, but also expressed the importance of people in the US paying attention to them and knowing more about their reality. They speak and they share because they believe that if we work together another world is possible.