Loading...
Rest Point
Now Watching
Rest Point
Next Suggested Video
ViewChange: Challenging Hunger
Hundreds of Central American migrants cross into Mexico every day in their attempt to reach the United States. The Mexican authorities detain 200,000 of those travelers every year in the southern state of Oaxaca, where the government has installed two security belts. There, in the middle of the main train routes from Central America, is the Ciudad Ixtepec migrant shelter, an oasis on the road of the undocumented. Meet Father Alejandro Solalinde, founder of this unique shelter.
Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...

Produced and directed by Keren Shayo.

Originally Featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE [Coordinator, Catholic Pastoral Care Center for Migrants]
Migrants, brothers. Don't be scared. It's me, Father Alejandro. We are here to help you. If there is anyone there, come out. We will help you. Don't be scared, I'm Father Alejandro.
TITLE
In October 2007, Father Alejandro Solalinde and his team opened a shelter for Central American migrants in Oaxaca, Mexico.
FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE
So, it's clear that all the services here are for free, right? It's clear, right? So, you are in the railroad in Medias Aguas, or also in Lecheria. It's the same, you are there. There are people reaching you, saying, "You see, I also know what it is to be a migrant. I've suffered a lot. How many are you? Don't worry, I will go to get some sodas, I would like to help you." Instead of sodas, he will bring armed people in order to kidnap you.
LEO [Migrant worker, El Salvador]
You leave home with the idea of helping your family. That's mainly the idea of all of us. That's my idea, to arrive one day in order to help my family, because it's a poor family.
ARELI PALOMO [Volunteer]
Every time that the train comes, morning, midday, evening, late night, I register name, last name...
ARELI PALOMO
I have the right, as a Mexican, to present a formal complaint in your name.
ARELI PALOMO
...what happened to them on the way. If they have been robbed, if the women have been raped, if the migration officers have blackmailed or attacked them.
WOMAN
Yes, he said, "Stop there." From far away, he said, "Stop there." And my son-in-law said that we should stop, don't keep on running. And the men said, "Get naked," and he asked 300 pesos from each one.
ARELI PALOMO
We are talking that every week between 180 and 200 migrants arrive.
LEO
Coming in the train, we had a problem. We thought it was an army checkpoint, but it wasn't a checkpoint. Some soldiers came out, and they took her. I told them that I wasn't going to leave her, and I didn't. Actually, one of them was putting his gun in my back, and I told him, "If you are going to kill me, do it, because I'm not going to let you take her."
FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE
Once, I asked them, "How would you be if you didn't have this place?" And only one answered. I was there, and from the back, one answered with a single word. "Devastated." That's what he said, devastated. This word is not so commonly used, but he answered with this one. And then I understood that this place for them means, first of all, security. One day, these migrants that have been robbed, that sometimes don't even have shoes, don't have clothes, that are asking for the most basic things, some day, the United States and hopefully Mexico, also, will make you a monument, because you are heroes of a new history. I believe that history is changing, but from the basement, from the poor people, without excluding anyone. You are changing that. You are not asking permission from anyone, because the migration has its own rules. If they say, "Don't cross there because there is an epidemic," you cross. "Don't go because the Zetas are kidnapping there," you go.
FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE
Good morning, guys. How was the road?
MAN
You know that the army took us down from the train in Juchitan.
FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE
The army?
MAN
Yes.
FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE
Strange.
MAN
Everyone, women, a lot of people. We were 250 people coming. Take a look at the few ones that made it until here.
FATHER ALEJANDRO SOLALINDE
Okay, get into the shelter, and don't get out. I'm going to Juchitan to see what's going on.
TITLE
Hundreds of migrants are passing through the shelter every month. They are given a place to stay, food, medicine, and legal advice. It is one of the only secure resting points on the way to the USA border.