Summary of 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. Since 1996, over 7,000 migrants have died in the deserts along the entire US/Mexico border. Every day Aguilas del Desierto, a non-profit search and rescue group, receives multiple calls from migrants and families desperate for help. Migrants travel in groups, when injury or illness, exhaustion, or harsh desert conditions overcome someone, that person is immediately abandoned and left to themselves. By the time a migrant contacts Aguilas del Desierto, the situation is critical and time is of the essence. Often families will contact Aguilas because they have lost touch with a loved one. Many are afraid to call authorities for fear of repercussions. Instead, they turn to Aguilas for help. In 2021, Aguilas received over 800 contacts to our helpline, we rescued over 180 people alive and recovered the remains of 21 migrants who did not survive. We continue to search the mountains and deserts until every life is brought home.
The Sister’s Response
In addition to the search and rescue of migrants on the United States side of our border with Mexico, Aguilas del Desierto also works to save lives through education and prevention. Often migrants are not informed about the many real and life-threatening dangers they will encounter before and after crossing the border. In an effort to save lives through prevention, every two or three years, Aguila’s volunteers spend 8 weeks visiting migrant shelters from Tijuana to Honduras, distributing brochures, posters, and flyers, asking migrants to raise awareness and think carefully about what they are doing. Aguilas would like to make this a yearly event.
How will the funds be used?
Funds would be used to print material, cover the cost of transportation, food, and lodging, and offer a stipend to volunteers who participate
Educate thousands of disadvantaged and marginalized people from Latin and South America about the dangers of migration to help them come up with another solution that would be safer for them.
#39 – Awareness and Prevention Campaign