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People throughout the Americas are weighing the risk of staying in their countries of origin and dealing with violence, political upheaval, abject poverty, and increasingly the impacts of climate change with the risk of migrating north, a dangerous proposition in its own right. They are often basing this life-altering move on misinformation, rumors, or insufficient information. Many arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border unprepared for the legal and logistical situation ahead.
El Migrante fills that information void and provides a megaphone for migrating families to share their stories and experiences.
What is El Migrante?
El Migrante started with an information needs survey of hundreds of people at the U.S-Mexico border, to learn what kind of information is most useful, what questions people have, and the best platforms to share answers, news, and information. In January 2019 we began disseminating a printed monthly newspaper to shelters and migrant resource organizations on both the northern and southern Mexico borders, we created a WhatsApp group for migrants where we share news you can use and answer daily questions both with text and in audio (for those with literacy issues) and we broadcast a bi-weekly radio show that shares profiles of migrants and their experiences as well as news and information about the migration situation in Mexico for a host community audience.
“We’ve crossed borders, rivers, forests, deserts to get to our destination… El Migrante makes the time and effort to inform us, migrants. We’re in a foreign country, we don’t have anyone keeping us informed, but now we have El Migrante.” -Francisco, a Honduran immigrant
El Migrante reaches an estimated audience of around 60,000 migrants and host community members every month. Our monthly newspaper is distributed via shelters and resources organizations in Tijuana, Mexicali, Juarez, Matamoros, Reynosa, Tapachula, and Tenosique, and it shares information about:
- Safe shelters and housing.
- Employment opportunities in Mexico.
- Changes in asylum and migration processes.
- Connections to aid and legal support organizations.
Migrants are using El Migrante to get and share important information, and to be heard. One woman at a shelter in Mexicali read a story in our newspaper that helped her find a safe shelter in Tijuana catering to women and children. Another migrant tipped off El Migrante that the operators of a large shelter on the border were planning to close it down, enabling us to push for clarity on that situation and provide people an adequate amount of time to transition to a new living space. A Honduran migrant with a Mexican work permit contacted us to find out whether employers could legally turn him down for jobs because he’s a foreigner. We brought his question to a local official and were able to share information showing that employers doing this were in violation of Mexican labor laws.
Support this work:
- Partner. We are seeking funding to support our existing work, and the plans and local partnerships we have in place to expand to other locations along the border. Get in touch to discuss collaboration or review concept notes.
- Donate. Your contributions to this work are valuable. Donate online and indicate “El Migrante” in the “additional information” field.
El Migrante in the News
- Los Angeles Times: The border the U.S. shares with Mexico? We really share it with the world
- AZ Central: ‘La frontera nunca ha estado abierta’: la desinformación migrante estuvo aqui antes que el Título 42
- Christian Science Monitor: How to stay safe on the migrant trail? Read a newspaper