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  • SALEF

Seeking Refuge - Life in a Migrant Encampment

Updated: Dec 17, 2018


On December 8th, SALEF, staff from partnering organizations, and volunteer lawyers and doctors, traveled to Tijuana in Baja California, Mexico to visit the Benito Juarez Shelter.


Outside of Benito Juarez, there are posters and art.



At the shelter, men, women, and children are camped together in alarmingly poor conditions. At one point, Benito Juarez held over 6,000 people. The Mexican government has moved thousands of people to another shelter outside of Tijuana called El Barretal.




Yet, many remain - including children like those pictured here.



The scale of human suffering is unimaginable. The lack of food, medicine, shelter and other basic necessities is a humanitarian crisis. It is compromising health, robbing men, women and children of hope, and is a stain on our country's moral standing.


But you can help.


On our last two trips to Tijuana, SALEF coordinated the delivery of food, clothing, shelter, medication, as well as medical and legal expertise to the Central American Caravan asylum seekers.


Here you can see the long lines outside of El Desayunador Padre Chava for food and the tables where meals are shared.




Legal and medical clinics were also provided at El Desayunador Padre Chava. The attorneys who traveled with us to offer legal orientation and consultations were Meredith Brown, Angela Suh, and Aaron Chenault. Clinica Romero secured the participation of volunteer medical doctors Dr. Romo, Dr. Macklin, and Dr. Cunningham, who provided over 65 clinical consultations.





Thanks to our partnership with La Curacao Foundation, we were able to bring 50 tents and 50 sleep bags to a Church near the Benito Juarez Shelter



And because of donations from many, many individuals, as well as our partnership with El Rescate, we were able to provide over $6,700 worth of food to multiple shelters supporting asylum-seekers in Tijuana, including: Desayunador del Padre Chava, Casa de Madre Asunta, and Enclave Caracol.




Over the course of our last two trips, we have brought:


- $6,700 of food including grains, beans, mixed meats, 50 whole chickens, fresh fruits and vegetables,breads, pastas, canned goods, cooking oil, and basic cleaning supplies

- $2,000 of medical supplies as well as child care and infant care products and feminine hygiene products

- Clothing, including 300 sweaters and 50 pairs of shoes

- Shelter, including 100 quilts, 50 tents and 50 sleeping bags

- Legal and medical services


SALEF is making one more trip to bring food, clothing, shelter, medication, toys and medical and legal expertise to the Central American Caravan asylum seekers.


We will visit shelters in Tijuana again on the weekend before Christmas, December 21st to 23rd. In this upcoming trip we will bring aid to El Barretal - the new main shelter outside of Tijuana. This is where the Mexican Government is holding the men, women, and children awaiting to submit asylum cases to the United States.



Thousands need our help. Please help us bring aid, toys and love to our brothers and sisters in need.


To donate to SALEF via PayPal, click here. If you are interested in donating another way or in volunteering contact Briana Rodriguez: brodriguez@salef.org.