On the morning of August 6th, asylum-seekers, civil society, people of faith, artists, and local leaders from both the U.S. and Mexico gathered at the border wall in Ambos Nogales to protest the dismantling of the asylum process, hear testimonies from asylum-seekers, receive their claims, and take action. For those who missed the event, please view the #SaveAsylum event on our Facebook page here.
Along with Jesuit networks across the Americas, we entered month two of the #SolidarityAcrossBorders campaign. The theme of the second month of the campaign is “Access to Rights” and we invite you to listen to the stories of immigrants and their advocates as they battle against legal, institutional, cultural, and economic barriers in the U.S. immigration system.
“Defacing the Monument”
August 6th marked the release of “Defacing the Monument” by Susan Briante, a University of Arizona professor who, over the years, has coordinated several visits to KBI with university students and documented the testimonies of migrants. In support of our work, she has decided to donate half of book proceeds to KBI. We celebrated the book’s launch by participating in a reading hosted by Pilsen Community Books in Chicago, who also donated $5 for every book purchased during the event. You can purchase a copy here.
Last month we welcomed Paco, originally from Guerrero who joined the KBI team as a cook. He brings with him 19 years of invaluable experience as a cook and is excited to apply those skills to the mission of Kino. Apart from his responsibilities preparing food, he enjoys being able to meet and interact with the migrants that we serve every day. We are fortunate to have Paco on staff.
Additionally, we welcomed a new long-term volunteer, Abby, although originally from Chicago, Illinois, she spent the last year working with indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico near the Mexico-Guatemala border. After having witnessed the context of migration in Southern Mexico, she is drawn to being here on the Northern border where she can serve and receive migrants and is excited to continue growing in her Spanish-learning.
Lastly, we were also joined by Jaret Ornelas, Jesuit in formation, who originally from Turlock, California, is arriving to Nogales directly from Guadalajara, Jalisco. There, he was simultaneously studying a Masters in Philosophy and Social Science and working at the FM4 Paso Libre Migrant Center. He is excited to be joining the KBI team as the Education Coordinator where he will be facilitating immersion experiences with schools, universities, and churches and assisting in the day to day responsibilities at the comedor.
We are thrilled to have Jaret, Abby, and Paco as part of the team and appreciate the perspectives and experience that they bring to KBI!
Adapting Our Services
Given the continued realities of the virus, particularly the alarming increase in cases in Arizona and Sonora, we continue to offer restricted services to migrants and implement safety protocols among staff. This includes maintaining social distancing, mandating masks, and offering to-go plates for households. As the situation changes, we will adapt our services and keep you informed. The health and well-being of migrants, staff, and our communities are our foremost priority.