La Posada had a very busy week last week as we had the privilege of assisting clients from different walks of life and welcoming them to our shelter.
One woman from El Salvador fled her home country due to poverty and extreme starvation. She knew she needed to leave her loved ones behind to give her unborn daughter a chance for survival. She left behind her 85-year-old maternal grandmother who had raised her since she was very young. When she was two years old, her mother was killed during a home invasion that left her orphaned. Her grandmother took over the role of caregiver and struggled to feed her and her two siblings, but managed to bring food to the table. Unfortunately, as her grandmother became older, she eventually could not work to provide for them anymore.
Jennifer recalls going days without eating and depending on family members or friends to bring them leftover food. They would eat small portions to try to make the food last for another day. Her two siblings are now married and have families of their own. Jennifer felt she could not bear to be a burden to her grandmother, especially with a baby on the way.
Jennifer stated that she was estranged from her father, who passed away in 2017 due to a heart attack. She stated that she really didn’t know her father as he disappeared as soon as her mother was killed and lost contact with the children left behind. Jennifer stated that she attended school regularly in El Salvador and hopes to continue her education in the United States to give her unborn baby a better life.
Jennifer stated that she traveled for 15 days from El Salvador, and then got off the bus at the Guatemala-Mexico border so she could cross the river. Jennifer stated that there were several Mexican military officials guarding the port of entry and knew that she would be killed or be deported for trying to cross into Mexico without permission. Jennifer was able to get on another bus until she reached Reynosa. Jennifer reportedly came into the United States crossing the Rio Grande River, found Border Patrol agents and asked them for assistance to seek asylum. She spent seven days in detention and was released on her own recognizance.
Jennifer is headed to the East Coast where she has a maternal aunt who is extremely excited to have her come to stay with her. Jennifer states that she hasn’t seen her aunt in three years and feels excited. She prays the immigration judge allows her to stay in the U.S. so she can pursue her education and provide for her baby. We wish Jennifer the best as she continues her journey.