Posted on August 3, 2005

Giving Hope to Migrants

AP, Aug. 2

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Catholic archdiocese plans to open two shelters for migrants in the Mexican border communities of Naco and Nogales.

The diocese intends to begin work on the shelters within the next year, said the Rev. Cayetano Cabrera.


A shelter started by archdiocese parishioners in Altar, a community about 60 miles south of the border with Arizona, serves as a staging center for migrants heading north. They stock up on desert survival gear, from $10 tennis shoes to salt tablets and disposable razors.

Those caught in Arizona and returned to Mexico through Nogales, Ariz., arrive with nothing but “an idea to try again,” said the Rev. Rene Castaneda Castro, who has headed the migrant ministry for the Hermosillo Archdiocese.

The migrant shelter gives them an air-conditioned room to sleep in, a meal and a place to bathe and wash their clothes, all behind the protection of a 10-foot wall and the Templo de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.

Since the shelter opened in 2000, more than 14,000 people have stayed there before heading north, Father Castaneda said.