The Peace Dining Room provides relief for migrating people

As migrant populations fluctuate, the Migrant Resource Centre in Agua Prieta, Mexico, expands to meet the increasing need for shelter and sustenance
A progression of photos that shows the construction of the Peace Dining Room, from a roof with tarped walls to a fully enclosed structure.

By the end of 2020, the US began expelling migrants under Title 42 of the US health code, releasing hundreds of migrants into Agua Prieta, Sonora, MX, every day – often in the middle of the night. This rapid influx meant a new reality for the Migrant Resource Centre (CRM).  How do we provide hospitality for these people?  After all, this was in the midst of a pandemic and the middle of the winter.  The CRM responded by opening its doors throughout the night to meet the Border Patrol buses. Staff and volunteers offered food, coffee, and information and included face masks and hand sanitizer as well.  By the following summer, it was evident that the people arriving at the centre needed protection from the sun and they also needed to prepare the centre for the cold of the coming winter.  First came a shade structure with a tin roof, and then there were various attempts to enclose that space.  Later on, workers added tarps and gas heaters to give people some relief from the sun and the cold.  But the sun and the wind of the Chihuahuan desert are stronger and more relentless than the sturdiest of tarps.  Nothing lasted for very long.  

By the summer of 2023, the migrant population had shifted once more.  Now, people, mostly from Mexico, were again making their way north to ask for asylum in the US.  These people needed some food and water, but they also needed baby formula, a place to shower, and protection from the wind for a little while.  It was decided to replace the tarps around the shade structure with permanent walls, windows, and doors. In February of this year, the work was completed. That structure is now El Comedor de la Paz – the Peace Dining Room, named by a young woman who is the co-coordinator of the CRM.  It’s a place where everyone can sit down together.  It’s a space that has fans in the summer and heaters in the winter.  It’s where everyone can eat enough.  It’s the place where there is always plenty of water in the middle of the desert.  It’s a place where everyone can receive and share peace for a little while before they resume their journey.

  • Pray for El Comedor de la Paz that it may live up to its name for everyone who enters its doors.
  • Ask for blessings for all migrating people
  • Give thanks for generous donors who made the Comedor a reality.
  • Say a special prayer of peace and blessings for Betto Ramos, the longtime coordinator whose vision has helped shape the CRM as a place of peace.
  • Ask for courage and stamina for the many volunteers without whom the CRM could not remain open.

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