Transport and food for immigrants
The ARCORES Costa Rica Calle Esperanza project has launched the “Somos hermanos” (We are brothers) campaign. This program aims to provide migrants passing through the country with transportation tickets and food so they can reach the border with Nicaragua and continue their journey.
The logistics depend on several non-profit institutions, the Ministry of Migration, and other governmental entities. ARCORES has thus joined other social aid groups to look for alternatives to make the migrants’ journey more dignified.
The volunteers of Calle Esperanza go to the transportation terminal, where they meet with the migrant families and write them down on a list that includes their identity card, which is delivered to the Ministry of Migration. The volunteers of this ARCORES project do not give money to the migrants, but buy them transportation tickets and give them a snack for the journey.
Dialogue and listening
However, the most important moment of the meeting is not the material help, “but the dialogue with them, listening to them with empathy, that they hear a friendly voice that dignifies them and tells them that they are not alone,” explains María Eugenia Trujillo, head of volunteerism at ARCORES Costa Rica. “A prayer together is the voice, the embrace, and the strength that accompanies them until the buses leave for the north. Sometimes, the small group of Calle Esperanza has to listen to real horror stories,” says Trujillo.
“This small help is the beginning of a project that, we hope, will continue to grow, bringing hope and alleviating a little of their journey,” says the head of volunteering for ARCORES Costa Rica.
A face of uncertainty
In recent months, the number of migrants, especially Venezuelans, who have left their country in search of a better life, has increased in the Central American country. Hundreds of people enter Costa Rica every day, which has turned the streets of the capital, San José, “into a face of uncertainty that is reflected in the eyes of the children, in some pregnant mothers or in the young boys who become the cane and support of the whole group”, explains Trujillo.
They walk for hours and hours, crossing torrential waters, with scarce food, carrying their few belongings, and most of them without money. “Crossing the Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama is for the brave, it is inhumane to face the jungle, the swamp, the wild animals, and the extortion of unscrupulous people who take advantage of the circumstances and human misery. It is a territory that has already claimed the lives of many migrants on their way to the United States,” concludes María Eugenia Trujillo.