Calling Home from A Migrant Shelter

debbie mcallenInterview from McAllen, Texas

The little boy wiped tears from his eyes as his father returned the phone to me.  They had just finished a call to Guatemala, the first time the six-year-old heard his mom’s voice since Customs and Border Protection took the two into custody at the Texas border.  As a volunteer at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, I dialed 011-502 (Guatemala), 011-503 (El Salvador) , and 011-504 (Honduras) dozens of times. I was happy to help the migrants relieve their siblings of anxiety; ask spouses for transportation money; or, in this case, let the little one listen to his mom’s warm voice. I don’t think he said a word, just listened, transported briefly to the familiar world he left behind.  With his little fists, he wiped his eyes and returned to the shelter in Texas.

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