Casa Hogar El Puente is a place for asylum-seeking migrant women and children who have been returned to Tijuana under the Migrant Protection Program (MPP), where many of them have to wait for months in Mexico for their cases to be resolved. It is a space where migrant women and children from Central America and other parts of the world can come and receive housing, loving community, clothing, and information about the asylum process and other resources in Tijuana. It will serve as an example of autonomous shelters in Tijuana and a model of small scale safe houses in the city that can be generative centers to build a life in common.
This project is being birthed from the visions and learnings of three Honduran caravan members in Tijuana, who have been moved by the immense need for safe housing options for refugee families. As the Central American community in Tijuana is becoming more established because of MPP and continual migration, Casa Hogar el Puente hopes to shift the perception of Central American migrants here in Tijuana so they can be respected for their contributions to the city. The space has capacity for 25-30 women and children, who will be rotating through on a ~2 month basis. During this time, they will be resourced with information about next steps, and connected with local job opportunities. There will also be food vending and other events based out of the space to help with creating purpose, building community, and fundraising.
Originally they were planning to rent a house in el centro, but in mid-July they were generously offered access to a plot of land and house in a safer part of Tijuana. The house is set on a hill with a stunning view of the city and lots of green space; it’s the ideal retreat from the chaos of the city, where folks can have a chance to connect with the land and reflect on what they’ve been through and where they would like to go next. The house is in need of lots of renovation to be habitable. They’re currently in the process of reinstalling the roof, and are planning to install more windows, a new bathroom and kitchen, and eventually build an annex on the side of the house. The land is large enough to have capacity for several more small houses.
CALL TO ACTION: Casa Hogar El Puente needs the following forms of solidarity from Mexico, the United States and beyond:
1.) Construction skills
2.) Wood and construction materials for bunk beds, cupboards, cabinets. including: painting, plywood, 2×4, power tools, hardware, funds to acquire them or local knowledge to obtain them for free)
3.) Kitchen supplies and equipment (stove, refrigerator, oven and cooking utensils)
4.) Doctors, nurses, herbalists and other volunteers with medical skills to attend to residents of Casa Hogar. Currently, the greatest necessity is medical professionals with knowledge of the Mexican medical system.
5.) Art supplies, clothing, toiletries, toys and other donations for women and children.
6.) Washing machine