Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hotel Migrante in Mexicali

We were invited to stay at the Hotel Migrante in Mexicali.  The Hotel Migrante is a very new organization (less than 2 years old) that provides food and housing to men (and a few women) who have been deported.  The space is an old hotel that is slowly being renovated and still needs a lot of work.  As a new organization, funds are low and barely pay the rent and for two meals per day. There is no electricity, limited restroom facilites, hardly any doors in the doorways, few beds and gaping holes in the ceiling where there used to be skylights.  Despite the conditions, the house provides a resource to those who have been deported.

When we first arrived, we thought perhaps Hotel Migrante was the only option for migrants and deportees, but we were happy to discover, with kiosks right near the port of entry where people are deported, a slew of organizations devoted to the cause.  There are three shelters--two for women and minors and one for men.  They are short-term shelters each with a stay limit: 3 days for men, 7 for women, 3 weeks for unaccompanied minors. There is also a comedor we visited which serves meals every morning for 5 days after you have been deported.  And there is another Catholic group Caritas that provides services like phone calls, assistance with paperwork, food and clothing, and there are also some governmental organizations that work with migrants.

While Hotel Migrante does not have the best conditions, there are some things that set them apart.  They are located only 1 block from the port of entry, while all the other shelters are a bus ride away.  They also do not have a time limit for the guests, allowing people to work and save to cross again or arrange paperwork, etc.  As people are deported at all hours of the day, Hotel Migrante is also the only group that has a 24 hour presence at the port of entry.  Article on Hotel Migrante

Hotel Migrante

Hallway of Hotel Migrante, where most the men slept

Warm welcome from the Hotel Migrante crew

They have great posters:  No to the Kidnapping of Migrants!

1 comment:

  1. It makes me happy to learn that such places exist. Well, not happy that they have to exist. But happy that, given the need, they do exist.