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  1. #1
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    Aug 2018

    Juárez migrant shelter grows toward sustainability

    El Paso Matters

    Juárez migrant shelter grows toward sustainability

    El Paso Matters - 4h ago

    Three hens and a rooster.
    Those five simple words represent the beginning of a vision for Hector Trejo.
    “Three hens and a rooster,” Trejo said, his voice rising above a cacophony of squawks and crows. “Yes, that was what we started with.”
    He looked down at dozens of chickens pecking and dust-bathing at his feet. Behind him, a small structure houses juvenile birds, and a stack of filled egg cartons bear the bounty from the flock. The squeals of pigs, tucked out of sight in their own small barn, compete with the noise of the chickens.
    The animals are part of the one-of-a-kind farm that is taking shape under Trejo’s direction in the churchyard of San Matías, an Anglican parish and migrant shelter in northwest Juárez.

    © Provided by El Paso Matters
    A rooster and hens scratch through the dirt in the chicken coop at the San Matías shelter in Juárez on Feb. 9. Founder and director Hector Trejo began food production at the shelter with just one rooster and three hens. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

    A tall man with closely-cropped graying hair, Trejo wears a black jacket and the clerical collar of an Anglican priest as he walks throughout the farm. A heavy silver cross with asymmetrical arms hangs low on his chest. He arrived in Juárez in 2018 to take a position as the pastor of three churches and soon thereafter opened his churches’ doors to migrants. Providing shelter and especially food to migrants was a costly venture, but it was work that Trejo felt morally obligated to carry out.

    As he walked the ample spaces of the church properties, he came to a realization.
    “(These properties) were not being taken advantage of. They did not have plans, they did not have a purpose, there was no reason for them to exist,” he said in Spanish. “I thought, ‘I have this (pastoral) responsibility, and there is this space surrounding us.’ I felt obligated to push myself to create an activity.”
    And so his vision began, with three hens and a rooster. Then he added the greenhouse, where slow drips of water nourish seedlings that, at this time of year, are covered against the freezing nighttime temperatures. The horticulture will include, depending on the season, what Trejo termed the “basic basket” of vegetables and herbs that the migrants typically use in their cooking: tomato, squash, chile, onion, rosemary, basil.

    © Provided by El Paso Matters
    Benjamin Navarrete, a biologist with Innovaciones Biológicas, checks on seedlings in the greenhouse at San Matías in Juárez on Feb. 9. The harvest will eventually provide a “basic basket” of vegetables and herbs to the migrants living at the shelter. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

    “I wanted to provide the capability for producing food, number one,” Trejo said, but he also placed emphasis on environmentally sustainable practices. Aside from sustenance, caring for the plants and animals serves as occupational therapy for shelter residents, many of whom are living in an urban environment for the first time.
    “Many of the people with us are from Central America or rural areas of Mexico,” he said. “So they have a very special connection to planting or to the care of animals, and that’s exactly what we try to take advantage of, so they are not in an environment of stress, anxiety, and depression.”
    Yadira, a resident of the shelter, came to Juárez from Michoacán in southern Mexico six months ago with her family. She and her husband, who were owners of an avocado orchard and other small businesses, left their successful middle-class life behind to escape extortion and threats. Now, Yadira assists Trejo with supervisory and administrative tasks in the church office and the shelter, responsibilities that have helped her manage her mental health.
    “I am a very active person,” Yadira said, sitting on a swing at the edge of a courtyard where two boys kick a soccer ball back and forth. “If I didn’t have (activities) to help me here, I think I would be lost, depressed.”
    Focusing on the farm leaves her with little time to think about depression or anxiety, she said.
    “You need to be thinking about what needs to be done, what needs to be improved, what needs to be fixed,” Yadira said. “All of that helps me, when they tell me ‘we need food for the pigs, we need food for the chickens, help us here, help us there’– it helps me.”

    © Provided by El Paso Matters
    Yadira, a migrant from Michoacán, sits on a swing in the courtyard of the San Matías shelter in Juárez on Feb. 9. Yadira assists with administrative tasks and other chores at the shelter, work that she says helps her manage her mental health. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

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  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Send them all to Southern Mexico.

    They have plenty of land. Pool your coyote money and go build your own villages and plant your own food and start businesses there.

    Slam that border shut.


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