Humanitarian Response on the US-Mexico Border
Ciudad Nueva is a faith-rooted 501(c)3 public charity embedded for the last 15 years in central El Paso's Rio Grande neighborhood striving to cultivate hope and an environment where immigrant youth and families are empowered for a successful future. Given our strategic location on the border and motivated by the challenges currently facing our region we have incubated a separate initiative, Abara, in order to respond to the most pressing needs of our border community, educate about the realities on the ground, and connect resources to where they are needed most. You can learn more about the work of Abara at www.abarafrontiers.org.
Over the past few years tens of thousands of families have arrived at the southern U.S. border seeking asylum from Central America, southern Mexico and other parts of the world. The underlying factors influencing this exodus are complicated but can mostly be linked to gang violence, extortion, persecution, corruption and poverty.
Since mid-2019, the Migrant Protection Protocol (commonly knows as "Remain in Mexico") has caused the majority of those seeking asylum to be forced to await their court hearings across the border in Ciudad Juárez.
While the numbers of those arriving at the border have decreased in recent months, there remain thousands of asylum seekers awaiting their court hearings at temporary shelters in Juárez. Now all of these court hearings have been delayed and thousands of asylum seekers are stuck in limbo, in a setting quickly deteriorating due to COVID 19. Without assistance, these families would find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations.
Over the last few years we have supported coalitions of organizations, mostly churches, in both El Paso and Juárez as they have arisen to serve as shelters for asylum seekers on both sides of the border. Due to Remain in Mexico, as well as more recent directives returning everyone away from the border, the burden is falling almost entirely on small churches in Juárez.
We are working with about 20 under-resourced organizations and churches that are currently providing shelter in Juárez. Most of these shelters are churches that have opened up their sanctuaries and facilities so that asylum seekers are not sleeping on the streets. They are doing all they can with the limited resources they have, but they are stretched very thin and are in need of donated items, regular food, help with utilities, and financial support.
Abara is working along with others as a supportive entity to network with shelter directors, government agencies, legal professionals and a few other NGO's in order to understand needs, collect & distribute donations, connect volunteers, and host groups interested in border immersion experiences (our border encounter groups are currently on hold due to COVID 19)
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
- Pray for safety, health, comfort, hope & faith for those fleeing danger, and for the provision of immediate basic necessities.
- Shop for needed supplies through this Amazon wish list http://tinyurl.com/
EPBElistor collect and send needed supplies including hand wipes, face masks, toiletry kits & items for children.
- Make a tax deductible financial contribution toward the effort by clicking on the link below. It costs about: $25 to provide food and basic needs for one person for a week or $50/family for a week. $200 provides one bunk bed & mattresses or pays an electric bill for a month. $500 provides training scholarships for 2 dozen people in areas such as sewing. $2k-$10k supports an infrastructure project (we are currently working on a water storage system at one shelter & a flood prevention project at another shelter).
- Become a fundraiser for the effort by clicking on the link below. The process is simple and easily shareable via email or social media.
- Donate a 12-passenger van (or provide funding to purchase one - $20k used or $35k new)
- Consider bringing a group to El Paso/Juarez for a Border Encounter to experience in person the realities of the US-Mexico border and better understand how to assist in the effort. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency items: face masks, rubber gloves, hand sanitizer/wipes, nonperishable snacks, energy bars, small backpacks or duffel bags.
Toiletry Kits: razors, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, zip lock bags, hair brushes, body wash (travel size liquids).
Children's Items: coloring books, Spanish books w/ illustrations or activities, English language learning books w/ pictures, small toys, puzzles, crayons, coloring pencils, markers, children's hats.
Mail supplies to our warehouse: Abara, 1228 Wyoming, El Paso, TX 79902
Mail checks to: Abara, 810 N. Campbell, El Paso, TX 79902
(please make out checks to Ciudad Nueva, our fiscal agent, and write "Abara" in the memo)