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Central American and Caribbean migrants walk in a caravan in Mexico's Chiapas State Central American and Caribbean migrants walk in a caravan in Mexico's Chiapas State  (=)

Mexican priest helping immigrants integrate into society

A Catholic priest in Mexico is calling for the expansion of an organization to assist migrants in their efforts to integrate into society, while working with Mexican government officials to coordinate the task of strategically placing Central American migrants so they can fulfill their potential and destiny.

By James Blears – Mexico City

The bold, intelligent and innovative initiative comes from Oaxaca-based Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra.

The Catholic priest is the Founder of Hermanos en el camino (Brothers on the Road), a migrant shelter based deep in the south of Mexico which has operated since February 2007 in Ciudad Ixtepec.

Father Alejandro says his organization is long overdue. It seeks to take onboard the needs of Central American and South American migrants, as well as others from farther afield.

Channeling talents

Many of those helped by the organization are undocumented migrants, desperate to escape the poverty, violence and hopelessness whence they came.

Fr Alejandro suggests that rather than herding, corralling and almost metaphorically branding those forgotten ones as rejects, a special group should be assessing qualifications, talents, work ethic and channeling talents in sectors across Mexico.

He says the Mexican National Guard, which has been sent as a migration buffer, cannot even begin to do or achieve this goal.

Working within the system

The 76-year-old Fr Alejandro says that, after a lifetime of activism, working from the outside in, he wants to use his decades of accumulated experience to do the process in reverse, from the inside out.

If this means enticing the establishment, he says, then so be it, for it to be.

Listen to our report
07 September 2021, 14:20