Daniel, 14, and his 18-year-old brother were forced to leave Honduras for their safety. A local gang killed their mother in retaliation for their resistance to joining the group. For Daniel, the most painful part of the trip was the sadness and remorse of having to leave the area immediately and not being able to bury his mother.
The opportunity to share stories like this, along with a safe place to stay and eat, is what migrants who visit Casanicolas in Guadalupe City, Nuevo León, Mexico, find during their stay. Founded by Father Luis Eduardo Villareal Rios in Mexico, the house reduces migrants’ vulnerability by assisting them in various ways.
Casanicolas provides shelter in a secure place, promotes human rights and offers pastoral care. Many visitors stay at least three days. If there is a special situation, they can stay from two weeks to a month.
Sister Esperanza Jacobo Acevedo, CSC, participates in Casanicolas through her work in pastoral ministry. The Sisters of the Holy Cross and the Holy Cross associates also provide food once a month to guests.
“Our primary goal is to offer a safe space for women, children and men who are migrating to a different country to seek a dignified life and a place to share so they feel that their lives are important and a value to society. In order to build communities of justice and love, a person needs to be able to express his/her ideas, fears and opinions, and needs to be heard without judgment—with a listening heart. This is provided by offering themed activities in a secure environment for them to be able to share their feelings to promote spiritual, emotional and psychological well-being,” noted Sister Esperanza.
“The second goal is to eradicate material poverty by providing basic food supplies of rice and beans to the migrants at Casanicolas, thus helping to nourish them as they continue their journey,” she added.
To support this ministry and others, please consider donating to the Ministry With the Poor Fund.