Leaving our service site of El Paso, TX I saw everyone in our group transform into individuals broken by the stories they heard and mended by the people they met. We had the pleasure of meeting many extraordinary speakers. We listened to their stories of how they tried to help the undocumented and promote immigration reform. We talked to Molly Molloy, an expert in the crime rates throughout Mexico, and she gave us knowledge about how hard life is in certain cities of Mexico. We attended a presentation by Rueben Garcia, creator of the Annunciation House, a place we visited many times during our trip housing immigrants seeking asylum. Rueben explained to us that we all had a moral responsibility to help anyone in need and that no human being should be labeled as illegal. If I had to choose one group of people to talk to one more time, I would have to say the señoras, who we lived with at Casa Vides.
Victoria, one of the more outgoing ladies at the house, stopped me and asked if I could translate a message for her to tell the group before we left. She began her speech by giving us a blessing and wished our group safe travels. She added that she hoped we would stay longer but understood that we had to leave. She told us that when we arrived in Omaha, we needed to advocate for them. She reminded us that the undocumented have no say in the policies that affect them the most so we must be their voice. She kept repeating for us not to forget them and to see them as human beings trying to live a simple life filled with the blessings and hardships of any other human life on the planet.
I don’t think I will ever forget Victoria’s message to our group. I will never forget the other señoras standing behind her crying as she basically pleaded her case to us. It was heartbreaking for all us to leave but that last little reminder encapsulated everything we had learned the whole week and sparked the fire in all of our hearts to advocate for immigration reform. The change won’t come easy but the actions for change are easy enough for everyone to do. These women added to the many millions of tears shed by those affected by the immigration system and our group carries these women and the many others we saw in our hearts now.
Class of 2019
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