‘Little Haiti’ to Serve Migrants in Tijuana

Mexico News Daily, March 7, 2017

Over 200 Haitian migrants who had traveled to Tijuana to seek political asylum in the United States have found themselves stranded as a result of new U.S. immigration policies.

But housing may soon be provided in “Little Haiti,” a new village that is taking shape in the city’s Divina Providencia neighborhood.

For over two months, 225 migrants, including 10 minors, have been housed in a shelter operated by a Christian church, which has launched the house-building project.

At least 100 houses are needed, said pastor Gustavo Banda Aceves, and the first ones are being built “with my salary and my wife’s . . . and what the church’s community has contributed.”

The first stage calls for 22 houses, each representing an investment of 50,000 pesos (over US $2,500).

According to Banda, the dwellings will have power, water and sewage disposal but their location is not ideal: nearby is a canal carrying sewage, which gives off fetid odors all day.

Banda has requested the support of municipal authorities to solve that issue in order to offer a healthy environment for the new community.

So far the communication with Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has been positive, said Banda: “All permits for the houses will be free of charge,” he told the newspaper Reforma.

The canal carrying the sewage is the same waterway in which sewage was discharged into the Pacific Ocean last month, contaminating beaches on both sides of the international boundary. It is now the focus of a binational investigation.

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