Casa del Migrante in Tijuana: 30 Years with Doors and Hearts Open

In 1987, Father Flor María Rigoni placed the first stone in Tijuana that would become the pioneer Migrant Shelter in Mexico. After 30 years of service, the Shelter continues to recreate and adapt to migration changes and the needs of its guests. Although there have always been aspects that hinder our mission, such as the hardening of migration policies and the increase in violence, 2016 brought new challenges: in addition to receiving more than 7,000 Mexican migrants deported and in transit, about 2,000 migrants were received from 32 different countries. This brought with it linguistic, cultural, and operational challenges.

Today, just over 10 months after the extraordinary flow of asylum seekers in Tijuana began, 2017 is designed as a year to lay the foundations and prepare ourselves for what follows. New challenges will come and the immigration measures promoted by President Trump foreshadow difficulties, but also opportunities for improvement; implement more Social Reintegration programs for the deportees; and continue to guide migrants in rebuilding their lives.

… adapt and change the mission a little. It is no longer enough to provide shelter and food, these migrants stay here for up to two months and require comprehensive humanitarian aid. (Fr. Pat Murphy, Director of Casa del Migrante in Tijuana)

This year is also a holiday one, due to our anniversary, on April 30th will be held in the facilities of Casa del Migrante in Tijuana the official celebration in gratitude to all the benefactors, volunteers and society in general, as they are all of whom make this work possible. The celebration will continue in the following months with the publication of a book of Casa del Migrante. This will be possible thanks to the collaboration of researchers and members of the Shelter, it will contain testimonies of the migrants, as well as a compilation of the history, changes and characterization of the new migration patterns in Tijuana.

During the rest of the year, several commemorative and fundraising activities will be held, including: The First Athletic Race “Run for the Migrants”, which will be held in July; As well as charity concerts, cultural and artistic events. All this in order to further strengthen the ties between the migrants, the bi-national society and the Shelter.