By Marie Silver
My time spent at The 72 Shelter for Migrants (La 72 Hogar Refugio Para Personas Migrantes) in Tenosique, Tabasco was life-changing. As part of last summer’s Chiapas Human Rights Practicum, classmate Jordan Malka and I interned at a human rights organization and lived in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. With the help of Chiapas program creator and director Professor Leonard Cavise and past Chiapas program participant Katherine Faydash, we were able to visit the migrant house.
Faydash, who now resides in Mexico, introduced us to local human rights activist and artist Saul Kak, a volunteer at The 72. Jordan and I arranged a visit to the shelter with Kak’s help and were struck by the work of the people at The 72 and the hardships faced by the migrants staying there. We were inspired to help.
Upon return to Chicago, we organized a fundraiser to support the shelter. On February 28, we held an event at Bottom Lounge in Chicago, in coordination with DePaul’s Society for Asylum and Immigration Law, International Law Society, National Lawyers Guild, Latino Law Students Association, Journal for Social Justice and Center for Public Interest Law. The event was a great success, raising $2,000 to send to the house to help provide food, clothes, medical supplies and other necessities.