In mid-March, three delegates from the Sister Parish 2019 Open Delegation traveled to First Lutheran Church in Duluth to share their experiences from the delegation. Nancy Wiens told us, “We shared our open delegation experiences, talked about the push/pull factors of migration, and told about the resilience and positive efforts of several communities including San Antonio Los Ranchos. It was a good weekend!”
The delegates shared updates about the impressive community projects in Los Ranchos like the day care center and the library – both rare resources in rural Central America. The delegation was also guided through a historical memory tour by Ingrid, one of the scholarship students supported by First Lutheran Church. The community has put up beautiful murals and monuments in the central park.
In terms of what the delegation learned about migration, when we met with people in Guatemala last November, the specific requests for people in the U.S. were 1) to help reunite families affected by the zero tolerance and family separation policies, 2) to support immigration reform that acknowledges the transnational reality of Central American communities, and 3) to address the root causes of migration. These are big goals, but you can connect to local efforts in your community, educate others, and stay tuned for action alerts from organizations like the Latin America Working Group and Opening Borders.