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#37 – Off-Road Vehicles to Rescue Lost Migrants

The Situation

Thousands of disadvantaged and marginalized people from Latin and South America are forced to migrate in order to survive. They leave the safety of family and friends, their countries, and all that they know because economic hardship, violence, corruption, poverty, and climate change are denying them the basic necessities of life. Out of desperation, they risk everything to help themselves and their families survive.

Sisters’ Response

Sister Maria Louise, a Felician Sister, is Vice President of Planning and Development for Aguilas del Desierto and is actively involved in searches, administration, networking, and fundraising mission in Ajo, Arizona. The program helps migrants who are lost or abandoned on the U.S. side of our border with Mexico and offers a hotline for families to call when searching for loved ones who are missing. Sometimes we rescue migrants in distress, and sometimes we recover the deceased bringing closure to the anguish families suffer not knowing if they will ever see their loved one again. In 2020, Aguilas saved the lives of a record 42 migrants. The highest number of lives saved since our founding in 2012. In 2021, due to the generous funding of those who support our mission, Aguilas saved the lives of over 180 migrants, who would surely have died without our help. That’s one person saved every two days. Each life has a story and a family. Each person is a son or daughter, husband, father, mother, and grandfather. For the volunteers of Aguilas del Desierto, every migrant is family. We continue to search the mountains and deserts until every life is brought home.

“New vehicles would allow us to transport more volunteers to remote search locations and protect our volunteers when on a search. Often Aguilas conducts searches 1 to 2 hours into the desert, away from cell reception. In an emergency, reliable vehicles could save lives.”

Sr. Maria Louise Edwards

Funds Needed

$65,000

How Funds Will Be Used

Currently, Aguilas del Desierto owns 4 vehicles, the newest vehicle is 20 years old. On numerous occasions, after a long weekend of searching the desert, the vehicles have broken down and our volunteers have to wait dangerously on the side of the highway, for 3 to 5 hours before roadside assistance arrives. Too often the cost of towing is prohibitive and expensive. Generous funding would help us to begin to replace these vehicles with newer more reliable off-road vehicles and trucks.

Systemic Impact

Thousands of disadvantaged and marginalized people from Latin and South America are forced to migrate in order to survive. Each life has a story and a family. Each person is a son or daughter, husband, father, mother, and grandfather. For the volunteers of Aguilas del Desierto, every migrant is family. We continue to search the mountains and deserts until every life is brought home. With new vehicles, we will be able to serve 2,000.

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#37 – Off-Road Vehicles to Rescue Lost Migrants

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