My husband and I spent four days at Las Patronas in August, those days not one train rolled by. But when we arrived we met migrants who had been there since February, which isn't normal, migrants stay two days at most then continue their journey north. This group of migrants were waiting to receive their Mexico visa. Being from Central America and traveling through Mexico with a visa makes it somewhat safer and easier for migrants, Mexico doesn't accept migrants just as much as the United States. Norma, the head of Las Patronas, was helping them get a humanitarian visa since they were on a train that derailed. During our time with them we learned about their life back in Honduras, why they left, what they've been through up to that point, and what they wanted to achieve. We created friendships.
Before leaving Las Patronas two migrant families arrived exhausted and hungry. Most migrants are from Honduras, Andrea and her mother Paola were from El Salvador. We prepared food for dinner, Paola made sure everyone was eating before she sat down to feed herself. She sat next to me, and when we were done eating Paola got up from the table and picked up my plate to wash it. I didn't want her to because she had helped so much, but she insisted, as if giving thanks. Before leaving I told Paola she is a great mother, her daughter shows it with a glow, and to have traveled with no money, but with hope and to be showing gratitude to strangers I will always carry them with me.