A Typical Day with Wings of Angels
Our wonderful friends from all over the nation have given generously to us in trust and confidence. This entry speaks of what great things we are able to do because of you. Here is a view of a typical day. It is the kind of day you surely will love, in case you would like to visit.
Mona, a Danish anthropology student and Wings volunteer, is spending a month here to help us.All our regular programs are going on. The teaching garden is lush. Our dental clinic benefactor, Dr. George Sayre of Houston, has been with us for a week to continue training our young Mexican dentist in US methods.
Mona and I have been working on a media presentation we believe to be very important. I would like to introduce the stories of migrants who have been caught and pushed back into Mexico. Why did they try to come to the US in the first place? What was their life like at home? Did they have a home, food, health and an education? Did they have a job and skills? (We are pretty sure they have very little of any of these and the public needs to know the real story). It has never before been done and we hope for another clarifying story about the Mexican poor and what can be done to alleviate their plight .
This is our TENTH ANNIVERSARY in northeast Sonora. We hope the story will note that our Wings of Angels model is tried and tested, that it works! It IS possible to improve the lives of the border poor through realistic volunteer efforts. We have created a strategic model. Think of how many of our US citizens would be motivated to volunteer. And think of the many skills they have to offer if tempted into action, perhaps in their own working group.
In order to preview what we might find at the three Mexican shelters provided by the government for returning migrants, we visited these on Saturday. The first is Casa de la Mujer Migrante, a haven for women and their families. There were only twenty clients in June, a reduced number because the desert is now hot and dangerous.
Casa Migrantes provides food, clean dormitories, and a peaceful environment for women and children in which to recover. The second locale is a respite provided by the Sagrada Familia Catholic Church. The same peaceful conditions exist. The adults retreat here until they are healthy enough to continue their lives. The third is a government-sponsored dormitory, which provides meals, shoes, medicines, and other support for the migrantes. As an example, 1894 cases used this service in April. I was sorry to see the wall map which provides information on how far to walk in the US to certain destinations,water stops, and safe areas. Our news piece, I hope, will make a clear point of what is missing in Mexico and what forces these desperate people to essentially escape, and what Mexico can do to step up.
Later, we changed course and with Juan Dominguez, Director of the wonderful orphanage and asylum, La Divina Providencia, visited a family in great need. Juan recently received two of the little girls into La Divina. It is a great place, full of love and structure. The little girls go to school every day, have chores, great nutritious food, and a lovely dormitory. They return home on Friday night and return to the Divina on Sunday night. The little girls, Daniela and Relely, asked Juan if they could stay at the Divina over the weekend and not go home.
Since that was not possible because there is no weekend staff, Juan said “I will come on Sunday to take you to church and then to a meal with my mother and father”. On Sunday he went to their home and his heart was broken. There he found the mother, a 1 ½ year old baby boy, a three-year old girl, Daniela, Relely, and Oscar, 13. The mother is six month’s pregnant. They live in a shack without electricity or water or bathroom. They sleep on the floor; each has one blanket. The grandmother lives several blocks away. She has other family members in her small house but these little ones go to her home to heat water for their Ramin soup. They have little else to eat.
Chris Pignotti of US Digital Media has given $1,000 to get the family into a decent apartment with utilities and a bathroom. This will be very little, only$100 monthly plus electricity, but will accomplish a lot. Earlier this year Martha Wing sent $5,000 to build the next house for a worthy case. The Utah Rotarians who do so much good building for us will be back in October. We will look for a lot with water and sewer in the southerly part of town where there are several new schools and away from the gangs that inhabit the poorest areas near the border. And we need to get Oscar into school. Oscar, Daniela and Relely are vivacious!Dad, it is said, was in jail, returned to the home later, then left again. Mom will have sterilization at the General Hospital at the baby’s birth. We will put our mentors onto structuring a better family lifestyle before presenting them with a house. And yet, as you already are aware, this is not an isolated case.
The day was not yet at an end. Throughout the years here, we have often stopped someone without a limb to ask if they need help. We have seen a man missing a leg on several recent occasions. We saw him yet again. I stopped and Juan asked him about his missing leg. It seems the man, Ernesto, received a prosthesis from us three years ago, it broke around the top, but he didn’t come back for repair (generally in cases like this the patient is a drug user and couldn’t figure out how to come back). We went to his little adobe shack and retrieved the leg. We will repair it. Maybe this will change his life. We’ve seen it happen.
May you be well and happy, kind friends