My dear readers, just as I have set foot on Dutch soil, I will leave it again. This time I make my way to Mexico! The land of the burritos, sombreros, desert cacti and the burning sun. But also home to the relentless drug wars and, maybe even less known, a large refugee problem at the border regions.
Thousands of people are escaping the highly unstable Central and South American countries El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Venezuela to seek a better life in America. Their home countries are being torn apart by violent crime, hyperinflation and devastating hunger. The road to a better life is difficult and dangerous, but they are determinate to create a better future for their family. It is devastating for them to arrive at the Mexico-USA border and hear their chance of getting in is small. This is even true when refugees have already family living in the USA. Their only possibility is to apply for asylum which can take years to process. The remaining time they have to wait in encampments together with thousands of other asylum seekers. The situation is often far from ideal. There is lack of medical support, sanitary services have limited capacity, the gang wars continue in and around the camps, and the local school system in not geared towards children with refugee background. Especially the younger children are victim in this complicated ‘adult problem’.
Mid-March me and Michael will travel to Tijuana, north-west corner of Mexico less than one hour drive from San Diego, to give our full attention to these young children. We are partnering up with the Pedagogical institute of Los Angeles to do work on their recently opened ‘Canyon Nest‘. ‘Nests’ are save spaces for very young children between 1 and 6 years old, were they can be child again! Express themselves, be creative, and forget their often tough living conditions in the camps. How beautiful!
Specific details on the project are yet unclear, but we are confident that our help can be used in any way possible. On a personal level, this is a moment to acknowledge the open space in front us, remain confident that whatever happens is the right thing, and nurture the energy inside us. At that moment, seeing the people walking around, watching the children playing with a smile, out of a joy and willingness to help, true passion arises. With this feeling inside your heart the most beautiful things can happen. Real impact can be made even if they seem small!