First Day at the Comedor: July 21

Nervous excitement filled our minds as our day of firsts began: our first time crossing the border; our first day in the comedor and many first "hellos." We helped prepare for mealtime, served meals, and sat with migrants and heard their stories. Some of us had trouble with the language barrier but most guests at the comedor speak all levels of English. I met one man who lived in the US since he was in elementary school and got deported to Mexico- a foreign country to him.

After breakfast and hearing many people's stories, we went to a women's shelter called Casa Nazaret, not far from the comedor. I was unaware of how bad the gender-based violence was in Mexico. We met Sister Engracia, who runs the shelter, and Flor, a woman staying there (who had encountered sexual abuse on her journey in the desert). Sister Engracia showed us a presentation, giving us an idea of the abuse women suffer when crossing the border. We concluded our meeting with a tragic story...a woman who had been abused for years prior to migrating to the US. The cycle of abuse these women witness through their mothers, and then as victims themselves, was a harsh reality.

Machismo in Mexican culture creates a society where women are taught to be submissive and obedient, which can lead to violence. Places like Casa Nazaret are important because they give silenced women a voice, a safe place, and a chance to be equal.

(Student journal)

No comments:

Post a Comment