Summer 2021 newsletter
Coralis Salvador, U.S.-Mexico Border
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
Summer greetings from El Paso!
Thanks to the policy changes by the current administration at the border, families are welcomed and children are no longer separated. However, minors who are accompanied by relatives or others are separated to verify that the children are not being trafficked.
Casa Romero is in full swing, welcoming 15 to 60 guests per day. The majority of arrivals are families.
I especially got to know a single mom with three children (ages 1 to 7). The youngest son was a toddler when they arrived; now he’s attempting to stand and push chairs (as a walker) around the halls or any given space. One day her second born wanted to play outside the building but needed a sweater. Since we are in the process of moving back to our original shelter, most of our clothing have been stored in another shelter. In place of sweater, I took a big T-shirt and wrapped it around his neck as a shawl/cape. He was thrilled and imagined himself to be Batman. Along with his sister and a friend, they became superheroes (Superman & Wonder Woman). It was joyous to see them having fun with simple stuff.
On Memorial Day weekend, the El Pasoan community and members of Casa Tabor had a memorial service for the beloved Father Peter Hinde, a Carmelite priest who died of COVID complication last year at age 97. He was a Veteran for Peace and dedicated his life to peace, social justice, human rights and simplicity. Together with Sister Betty Campbell, a Sister of Mercy, he co-founded Casa Tabor — a mixed lay and religious community in Ciudad Juárez that gives hospitality to migrants and asylum seekers. Almost every Friday, they stood across the border of El Paso protesting against war.
Father Peter called on all to be warriors for peace. I continue to be inspired by his gospel living, especially his call to “make peace not war.”
I am happy to share the news that Brother Lalo Navarro, a Mexican Marist Brother, returned in May to our intentional community at the Encuentro Project. He got stuck in Ciudad Juárez for 14 months due to the border lockdown. While he was in Juárez, we visited him regularly as well as his other Marist Brothers for social time and prayers.
Lalo is one of our five housemates. As a community we daily meditate and take turns doing housework. Except for Heidi, who works at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center as a migrant lawyer, we all work with migrants at Annunciation House.
Until my next newsletter, I am humbled by your partnership and support.
Do make time to be there for one another. I wish you a blissful summer.
Many thanks and blessings,