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Volunteer Group Provides Crucial Resources for Migrants Stuck at the Border

Volunteer Group Provides Crucial Resources for Migrants Stuck at the Border

As more and more migrants from Central America seeking asylum are forced to wait in Mexican border cities for their court hearings, Resource Center Matamoros (RCM) has been serving as a valuable lifeline to stranded migrants by raising the standard at the camps that currently house these vulnerable individuals.

At a camp that holds more than 2,000 migrants who are waiting to enter the U.S. for court dates, volunteers from RCM have been erecting tents for new arrivals from Central America. After RCM announced it would be installing better shelters that would be “more appropriate for a refugee camp setting,” the group began working with Mexican immigration authorities to address the needs of migrants.

The camp is was erected next to the Gateway International Bridge, which connects the city of Matamoros to Brownsville, Texas. RCM was the first group to bring clean, treated water to the camp after a 15-year-old girl drowned in the Rio Grande. RCM also brought water tanks and privacy tents with cups, buckets, shampoo, and conditioner.

Gaby Zavala is the co-founder of Resource Center Matamoros, and according to her, “people were bathing in the river, washing clothes in the river, [and] using the restroom in the river” prior to the aid provided by RCM. RCM also has plans to launch an HIV testing program at the migrant camp. The goal is to provide HIV tests to up to 150 migrants each month.

While RCM has made tremendous strides in assisting migrant asylum seekers, Zavala notes that “LGBTQ migrants who live in the camp are even more vulnerable to mistreatment, discrimination and even violence from groups that include drug cartels and Mexican police officers.” That is why RCM is committed to setting up LGBTQ migrants with lawyers and volunteers who can assist with their cases.

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