A Stark Reality: July 18

Today we went to Arivaca to visit Karl Hoffman, a documentarian on border issues. Karl took us on a hike through some of the migrant trails near his home. Along the trails were littered belongings left behind by hurried walkers-backpacks, toothbrushes, water bottles, baby food...

Then we came across a tree, strung with bras and underwear...what Karl calls "the rape tree."
Birth control pills and deodorant covered the ground beneath the tree. Coyotes ("guides" hired by the cartels), take women and young girls whom they are they guiding and rape them there. Then they strung their undergarments on the tree as signs of their conquest. I felt so sick being near it, and was fighting back tears the whole time. What was even worse was that the coyotes would make the rest of the family they were "guiding" wait back along the trail from the tree. I cannot imagine how it feels to helplessly watch your daughter, wife, or sister be assaulted and know that you can't stop it. After the rape, the women would take 2-3 birth control pills and brush their teeth- wanting to do anything to be purified and to be made clean.

Where was god in this? I couldn't see how god could be present in a place of such horror and violence. After praying about it, I thought maybe god is in our reactions. Maybe god is in our rage and emotions-the fact that we were not desensitized to their suffering.

I don't have answers right now, but this gives us a way to be more present to their pain.

(Student journal entry)

1 comment:

  1. This is a devastating account. Really hit home for me. I pray you are all well and that you will be able to assimilate this incredibly harsh reality. You are all indeed on a profound journey and I feel privileged to get this bird's eye view.