In Panama, the Franciscan Network for Migrants continues to be committed to serving people who pass through this country, raising awareness of the migratory crisis and raising awareness of Panamanian society in the face of this reality.

At the end of July, as part of the CLAMOR Network, the Panama team was present in the activities of the World Day Against Human Trafficking. These activities were carried out together with different organizations and state entities that work with migrants. An inter-institutional fair was held to support migrants. At this fair, the RFM distributed hygiene kits and basic necessities to the migrants who came to the event, as well as 100 plates of food for them. Later on July 30, the team participated in the binational walk against human trafficking that took place in Paso Canoas, on the border between Panama and Costa Rica.

Beginning the month of August, a simple act of recognition and gratitude was held for the volunteers who since March have been supporting the work of caring for migrants at the Miraculous Medal Home in David, Chiriquí.  Without the work and effort of the workers at this home, humanitarian work provided by the Network would not be possible.

Another reason for joy for the RFM team in Panama was that after six months of serving migrant brothers and sister, the baptism of two of the Miraculous Medal Home’s residents took place: Eddie and his daughter Emma. They were prepared for baptism by one of the nuns who volunteers in the home and received the sacrament in the presence of all the migrants who are currently with them in the home and the volunteers and members of the different organizations that collaborate with their network.

Although the immigration situation in Panama is at a critical point at this time, the Network continues to be present through its actions and influence in the national media, always with the objective of making visible the reality of the brothers who travel through the country in an honest and respectful manner.  For this reason, the coordinator of the Panama team, Rafael Lara, has participated in the national news programs. One of the main news programs in the country visited the home, and with this opportunity it was possible to bring to the general population real information about what migrants experience day to day.

Vivian Cianca