On Martin Luther King Jr Day, SALEF joined Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo in a day of service to bring much needed aid to the Central American migrants awaiting asylum at our southern border. SALEF, as part of the Coordinadora San Romero, coordinated the day of service in conjunction with the Coalicion de Migrantes Mexicanos to provide health screening and food donations to three shelters in Tijuana. We were also accompanied by El Rescate and Clinica Monsenor Oscar A Romero.

The delegation began the day of service with a press conference at Desayunador Padre Chava. Padre Agustin provided an analysis of the humanitarian crisis in Tijuana.

We were able to deliver over $2,000 of aid to Desayundor Padre Chava, which serves on average 1,000 to 1,600 people a day. The office of Councilmember Cedillo brought Joventud 2000, a shelter that primarily serves women and children, a hygiene and blanket donation. SALEF also provided La Vina de Tijuana with over $650 worth of food.

Councilmember Cedillo purchasing ~$2,000 worth of food and other supplies at Smart & Final, Tijuana

El Rescate Executive Director Salvador Sanabria lining up full carts at COSTCO, Tijuana.

Councilmember Gil Cedillo and the SALEF team, joined by El Rescate Executive Director Salvador Sanibri and others delivering food and supplies.

Dr. Romo from Clinica Monsenor Oscar A Romero facilitated an educational presentation at Health Frontiers in Tijuana, HFiT, on human trafficking and STIs.

Dr. Romo shares a presentation at Health Frontiers.

The delegation was also able to assess the inhumane condition of Hotel Migrante.

While visiting Hotel Migrante, Councilmember Cedillo handed out supplies and SALEF Executive Director Joceyln Duarter gave an interview to the news media inside the dilapidated shelter.

The SALEF team is excited to embark on its next project with all of our amazing partners.

Pictured from left to right: SALEF Executive Director Joceyln Duarte and El Rescate Executive Director Salvador Sanabria

Pictured from left to right: SALEF Board Member David Giron and Stephanie Lemus, Outreach Manager from Clinica Romero

While the Mexican government continues its efforts to shut down shelters, the aid SALEF and others are providing is proving critical. Our advocacy has helped us keep one shelter open, for now, in the face of certain closure in the future, giving those who depend on it critical time to plan. Additionally, we have made good on our efforts to provide multiple shelters with food donations through January.

It is the partnership and support from an incredible group of individuals and organizations that has made it possible to help those our own government has forgotten. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to:

  • Los Angeles City Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo, and his office, with special thanks to Debby Kim and staff for making the trek to Tijuana to see this situation with their own eyes

  • Coalicion de Migrantes Mexicanos for the opportunity to partner with us in coordination for this delegation, especially Sergio Infanzon

  • Clinica Monsenor Oscar A Romero for providing health screenings

  • Salvador Sanabria, Executive Director El Rescate for their $500 food donation

  • SALEF Board Member David Giron for his personal fundraising efforts and to all those who donated

  • The SALEF staff who go above and beyond, volunteering their time to make these aid trips

  • The many doctors, lawyers, social workers, translators, and other individual volunteers who also donated their weekends and holidays to delivering help and hope to our brothers and sisters

  • The many people who have donated their hard earned dollars to SALEF, trusting us to use those funds to directly benefit those in need

  • Staff at Desayunador Padre Chava, Juventud 2000, La Vina de Tijuana, and Hotel Migrante for allowing us to support their work

Each of these individuals and organizations breath life into Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words that, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Thank you for helping us defend justice and humanity, even across our country’s border – we couldn’t do it without you!