In 2011, we were invited by groups in Cd Juarez, Mexico, to help respond to violence in the region. Our role has since evolved into an ongoing commitment to the long-term sustainability and advancement of community health and wellness in the border region.
We assist with health promotion training and leadership development, helping local groups to create cooperatively-led, grassroots, community-supported projects.
Since 2018, 60,000 migrants have arrived from all over the world at the border seeking asylum. Few have received it. These refugees are homeless, living in shelters, in sanctuary within churches, vulnerable to kidnapping, violence, and poverty.
As this humanitarian crisis evolves and offering care for these people puts strains on local health systems, our Barefoot Clinics offer group-based acupuncture-based care to address trauma, addictions, and mental wellness.
Ciudad Juarez is a city on the border region of the U.S., on the border next to El Paso, TX. It has been very affected by some distinct social problems; the most well known is the violence brought on by drug trafficking that makes Juarez one of the most violent cities in the world. Juarez is a city with a high index of poverty. The economy is based on the maquila (manufacturing) industry, but the low salaries for workers cause poverty to rise. The number of people living in poverty rose from 100,000 to 494,000, and out of this total, 62,000 are living in extreme poverty. The 494,000 represent 37% of the Juarez population who are lacking basic necessities: income, healthcare, education, social security, a home, basic social infrastructure or access to food.
“In 2011, we brought together more than 12 organizations within the city to train them in adjunctive services, and to provide support to families in their health needs — especially for the stress and depression that are realities in many sectors of our community as a consequence of poverty and violence. During this time, more and more people have become involved in the project and received training in this community service. The organizing work improves each time and they have a project full of enthusiasm and generosity and created by volunteers. In the Diocese, we are very thankful and blessed for this project. The social ministry in this Diocese favors this initiative that allows us to offer integral support for the needs of people in our communities, especially the poorest of our people.
In collaboration with local groups in Nicaragua, we have launched a community acupuncture school for health promoters, offering training for 50 volunteers and campesinos operating in places where severe health disparities are prevalent.
Our goal is to replicate our community supported healthcare model in Nicaragua, and help local communities to establish and sustain health services for their own people in rural and urban areas of the country affected by trauma.
Our 2019 Solidarity Immersion in Guatemala led to a partnership with a women’s indigenous cooperative in Coban. Women working in small villages were able to bring the NADA ear acupuncture back to their communities to support their struggle to create a better world in a place from where thousands of Q’eqchi’ tribal members are migrating north.