In order to consolidate relationships between team members, identify action steps and structure the Mexico team for 2022, the RFM-Team Mexico met on September 27, 28 and 29 at the San Gabriel Convent in Cholula
– Elida Beatriz Calixto Toxqui, Hogar Franciscano, Cholula Shelter Network
– Fray Justino Sánchez López, OFM, JPIC coordinator of the Cholula team
– Sister Guadalupe Vazquez Cortes, HFIC
– Alejandra Conde, coordinator of structural change, La 72 shelter, Tenosique
– Fray Gabriel Romero, OFM, director of La 72 shelter, Tenosique
– Sister Flor Ramos, HFIC
– Fray Agustin Garcia, OFM, director of services for migrants, San Francisco shelter and soup kitchen, Mazatlan
– Sister Diana Alba, FMM, director of Casa Betania, Santa Martha (virtual participation)
– Sister Isabel Turcios, IMF, director of Frontera Digna shelter, Piedras Negras (virtual presentation)
– Fray Jaime Campos, director of JPIC office (virtual participation)
– Lori Winther, Executive Secretary, Franciscan Network for Migrants
– Mario Miranda, volunteer for the RFM and JPIC
– Fray Samuel Lopez Padilla, JPIC general coordinator for Central America and Mexico
We opened with a brief presentation on the status of the Franciscan Network on Migration, and the development of the Network over the last 2.5 years. We then engaged in a collective presentation on the current context at each site represented, and each representative provided an update on what is happening in their region. We touched on the issues of Haitian migrants and the special challenges related to unaccompanied minors. At this point there was a more in-depth discussion about the relationship between migrant houses and the DIF administration.
After the talk, we identified action items, including the preparation of a counterproposal to the DIF for 2022 and the creation of an inventory of needs to present to the broader JPIC network to generate support.
The team also touched on the issue of its structure and its relationship with the Network Coordination Committee. It was decided to meet monthly and under the coordination of Sister Lupita.
After the meeting we had the opportunity to visit the Casa del Peregrino refuge in the Divine Mercy Parish. This shelter is currently closed for overnight guests, but continues to provide food and clothing to the migrants. We met with Ingrid, a Honduran migrant who is now settled in Puebla and directs the service to migrants. Ingrid shared with us about how they are helping migrants and how she deals with coyotes and other negative elements. The next day we visited the Church of Tonantzin and the main pyramid museum in Cholula.