Following is a journal recount of my experience in Tijuana, Mexico, where I volunteered serving migrants seeking asylum in the United States.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
I have landed in Dan Diego, California. Currently at the airport waiting for the rest of the volunteers in our delegation to arrive. Feeling incredibly privileged to be a part of a group that came together to volunteer with the migrant relief effort at the US/Mexican border.
All volunteers have arrived, there are seven of us. We picked up a rental van, exchanged currency and are now heading to Costco to pick up basic supplies. One of the volunteers bought socks and underwear with money donated by friends. Basic medical supplies were also purchased by the doctors in the group.
Over dinner we were able to get a status update from our group leader, Isabel. I have been assigned to help teach a basic literacy class on Tuesday.
With the exception of Isabel, Paula, and Peggy, none of us had met or worked together before. I find it fascinating that our passion for basic human rights brought us together.
I am blown away by the years of professional experience the women have so willingly volunteered to share. We have a surgeon, clinical psychologist, youth organizer, physician, educator and the Director of the Florida Immigration Coalition, in our group.
We crossed into Tijuana, Mexico at 9:00 pm. Crossing the border was a surreal experience for me. It was 33 years ago that I was sitting in the back seat with my sisters and little brother, as we crossed into the United States and into a new life. A life of opportunity and the American dream. The decision my mother made, to leave Mexico and bring us to the United States changed our life. I sat in the back of the van thinking about that day, this time I was going back to where my own migrant story started. I am scared, but hoping to be of assistance with the relief effort.