It is an ongoing struggle for the Migrant Resource Center (Centro de Recursos para Migrantes-CRM) and the CAME migrant shelter (Centro de Atencion al Migrantes Exodus) in Agua Prieta, Sonora, to find the resources to continue the work of accompanying migrants. While they do receive significant financial support from the Presbyterian Border Project, Frontera de Cristo, and Sagrada Familia Iglesia Catolica, the need for food, clothing, and cleaning and sanitary supplies never ends. For many years, the National Institute of Migration (INM), a Mexican governmental office, has sponsored a fundraising drive called MIGRATÓN to collect donations from the community in Agua Prieta. Unfortunately, it is not always clear where all the donations end up. This year, as a result of a lack of transparency with the MIGRATÓN, Betto Ramos, the director of both CAME and CRM, and his staff and volunteers held the first annual CAMETÓN.
Modelled after the MIGRATÓN, the CAMETÓN filled the street outside CAME on on Friday 7 October. Local schools, churches, and other organizations collected donations during the week and members of the local Red Cross arrived to help the other volunteers receive those donations at CAME. From 9 am to 2 pm volunteers and staff worked to unload, weigh, and sort the boxes and bags brought in by individuals and groups. Altogether, the CAMETÓN collected 2153 kilograms of food, clothing, paper goods, and cleaning supplies.
At 4 pm the second phase of the CAMETÓN began. Various groups and individuals arrived to replace the boxes of donations with a bazaar of food and drinks for sale including tamales, posole, tacos, burritos, pasteles, aguas frescas, and even pizza. By 8 pm, every table was sold out of food. Another highlight of the day included tours by Perla del Angel, the shelter lawyer and chair of the CRM board, who walked visitors through the CAME building to see the murals and a photography display.
- Pray in gratitude that the CAMETÓN was so successful in collecting donations and raising money.
- Give thanks for the hard work of the staff and volunteers.
- Rejoice that the people of Agua Prieta supported the event so generously.