One Month Later

A month later memories from up Uprooted experience will come flooding back to me at the oddest time.  Just the other day, while I was waiting alone for the bus outside my apartment, memories came rushing back to the time we were on the busy streets of Mexico City.  Even though I was alone, and there wasn’t a sole to be seen, it was as if I was surrounded by millions of people, squished arm and arm, like the historical centre of Mexico City.

            I have had reverse culture shock as its been hard to immerse myself back into my day-to-day life after such an unique and, at times, difficult experience.  I have always understood how privileged I am in this society, and I have known the statistic that I live in the top 20% for quality of life and living conditions, but statistics are hard to internalize until you really experience them.  I find it difficult to share my experience with others as the situation is so complex and there is no one solution or answer. Also, when people ask, “How was your trip to Mexico?” I don’t think they really want a depressing story about the experiences and situations that we saw.  I have been directing people to read articles and short autobiographies as I find they shed light on the situation in a way that is relatable and sympathetic to people’s specific stories.

As such, this whole experience left me with a lot to think about.  My grandparents left Prussia due to violence and persecution.  In many instances this is what migrants from Latin American and Mexico are fleeing from.  My ancestors faced many hardships on their journey and for many years after arriving in Canada.  But they were given land to live on, their kids could enroll in school freely and they did not live in fear of deportation, instead they were given citizenship.  90 years later I can’t help but feel that we’ve moved backward, we’ve become less compassionate in the way we’re treating those feeling from violence & fear.  Migration is not a crime, especially for people who simply want to provide a brighter future for their children.

 Here are two worthwhile articles:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/17/unaccompanied-minors-central-america_n_5503908.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

 http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/world/immigration+crisis+hands/9927590/story.html

 Davida Bentham

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The “American dream” lives on

A post from Megan Enns, MCC Alberta Staff member who travelled with the Uprooted group.

MCC Ottawa Office Notebook

This guest blog is written by Megan Enns, peace and youth program coordinator for MCC Alberta. She recently led a young adult tour to the northern and southern borders of Mexico for the purpose of exploring themes of migration and peacebuilding.

I grew up thinking the “American dream” was something of the past. It was an ideal from that age of “Leave it to Beaver” that, to most people now, seems unrealistic and even unappealing. While traveling with MCC on “Uprooted,” a migration themed young adult learning tour to Mexico, I was shocked to hear how very real that American dream is.

Miguel and his son Jerry are in search of the American dream. Our group met them in Mexico City at a shelter where they are staying, waiting, and planning to move north and to cross into America where they will hopefully attain that dream.

The entire Uprooted tour group, along with Jerry (back row, middle, with sling) The entire…

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