The Cougar Chronicle

Students organize drive for Central American migrant caravan

CSUSM Border Angels and CSUSM Anthropology club collect donations for the caravan refugees.

CSUSM Border Angels and CSUSM Anthropology club collect donations for the caravan refugees.

Courtesy of CSUSM Border Angels Facebook

Courtesy of CSUSM Border Angels Facebook

CSUSM Border Angels and CSUSM Anthropology club collect donations for the caravan refugees.

Citlally Arroyo Mendoza, News Reporter

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After a month long journey through Mexico, more than 100 migrants from the Central American caravan arrived outside the San Diego border on Sunday, April 29 hoping to seek asylum in the U.S. Members of the caravan stayed in makeshift camps waiting to enter U.S. territory. A group of CSUSM students made an effort to help.

CSUSM Border Angels, is a chapter of the official Border Angels, a non-profit organization based in San Diego that advocates for human rights and a humane immigration reform.

The organization changed its name from Border Angels de CSUSM to CSUSM Border Angels, according to Linda Salazar, treasurer of the organization.

On May 1, CSUSM Border Angels held their last meeting of the semester during U-hour in Mark 303.

Members and officers discussed plans to organize a donation drive for the migrant caravan. The organization collaborated with the Anthropology club to collect donations from the campus community. They reached out to other organizations and centers on campus to join this cause.

“The more [organizations are involved], the better,” said Celeste Lopez, President of CSUSM Border Angels and a graduating Sociology major.

Lopez and two other members drove to Tijuana to deliver donations they received Tuesday afternoon. CSUSM Border Angels and the Anthropology club planned to continue to take donations throughout the week and over the weekend. Sonia Vasquez, Public Representative said that if they could not drive [to Tijuana], they would drop off the donations at the Border Angels main office in San Diego, where volunteers would take the donations.

“We are trying to get more donations…[The migrants] are in need of a lot of stuff,” said Lopez. They were collecting food, clothes for adults and children, blankets, socks,  hygiene items, feminine products, diapers, children’s coloring or activity books, camping tents, tarps and more.

On May 2, members of the organization set up donation boxes throughout campus including Extended Learning building, EOP, University Hall fourth floor, the Gender Equity Center, the Cross Cultural Center and the [email protected] Center where campus community can drop off their donations. The first donation pickup was scheduled for Friday, May 4. Valerie Lizarraga, Event Coordinator for the Anthropology club and a graduating Anthropology major said that “[it] is important to welcome [the migrants]. A lot of us, our families came here with nothing or near to nothing…”

Lopez encouraged students to “get involved, help with what [they] can and to get the word out.”

For more information about the organization or how to volunteer, students may contact CSUSM Border Angels by email at [email protected], on their CSUSM Border Angels Facebook page and on Instagram: @csusmborderangels.

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