There is a flurry of excitement, anticipation, and work happening in the Casa while we gear up for what is undoubtedly the busiest month of the year. The combination of winter holidays and events such as the annual Caroling party hosted by the Quaker monthly meeting, the Christmas Posadas, preparations for two college delegation field studies in January, and the arrival of the Caravan of Mothers looking for their disappeared children in Mexico, we certainly have our hands full. In the midst of all of these ongoing projects, the team is also doing workshops to sharpen our interpreting skills, continuing to develop collaborations with partner organizations such as Casa Refugiados and working to expand the reach of our Economic Justice and Migration projects as part of the Casa’s Peace Programs.
The Caravan is going to be one of the most intense parts of the next couple of weeks. 48 parents (predominately mothers, but there have typically been several fathers as well) from Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have traveled to Mexico to look for their missing children and denounce the human rights abuses of migrants in Mexico. On this trip, some of the mothers and fathers will be reunited with family members they have not seen in decades. This is due in large part to the work of organizations such as Movimiento Migrante Mezoamericano, an organization that dedicates itself to protect the human rights of migrants in Mexico and Central America. They have led investigations in search of missing migrants, some of whom have been located and will be reunited with their family members during the Caravan.
The response of Mexican society has a huge range–from weariness and empathy to complete disinformation and ignorance about the topic. Responses such as, “Why didn’t they just call?” reveal the extreme lack of understanding about the types of dangers and obstacles migrants face in Mexico. If only it were that easy.
The three days when the mothers will be in Mexico City are from December 9 to 12. Here at the Casa we will be preparing a huge dinner to serve the Mothers and to share space and time with them while they will be staying in the Casa for three nights. During their time in Mexico City they will be hosting press conferences (we are also facing a storm of journalists at our doorstep), and doing a pilgrimage to the Basílica de la Virgen Guadalupe.
It is an incredible opportunity to have the Caravan of Mothers staying with us, and we are so looking forward to participating in their events for the first half of next week. Our ability to offer hospitality to this group is symbolic of our solidarity with such families that have lost children, spouses, siblings, etc. to the violence that is plaguing this country and transformed migration into a gruesome phenomenon of kidnapping, extortion, and murder (in large part for economic ends). The ripple effects for countries all over Latin America has been extreme, and these Mothers have come to Mexico, despite enormous odds, to do something about it. Stay tuned for updates about their visit to Mexico City next week.