Day of the Candles, a Colombian and Ecuadorian Tradition Celebrated for the First Time at the Casa del Migrante de Tijuana

Tijuana, Mexico, December 11, 2019 – Casa del Migrante’s volunteers in Tijuana, (three of Colombian nationality), together with an Ecuadorian migrant family, encouraged to celebrate their tradition during the night of December 7 in commemoration to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It was a moment of reflection and prayer with the migrants, and lighting candles and lanterns made by children and adolescents, different requests were made, mainly for each of their countries, their families and in gratitude for being able to share with strangers that during the night they became more familiar and close.

Amid the shared nostalgia of being all far from home, we could enjoy the delicious taste of a famous Colombian “canelazo“, a hot drink of water, panela and cinnamon, and only for this occasion without “Liquor”. It was cold, added to the sad feeling of being here, while our hearts were “there,” however the human warmth to know that we had with whom to share our tradition, filled the house with joy, through Christmas music from different Latin countries; to talk with the migrants about the traditions in their homes and the hugs in tears when they remember those we haven’t seen for a long time.

Boys and girls as always were the ones who enjoyed the day running through the patio, playing, dancing and helping by not letting the wind blow out the candles, but above all they were the ones with their smile and their occurrences, such as dropping a dinosaur to my “canelazo“, they turned on the light of hope and the joy of living. Thank you all for having been our family during that night, for sharing with us, a piece of our land, culture and tradition.


(Volunteer at Casa del Migrante.)