MATAMOROS, MX/BROWNSVILLE, TX BORDER
In 2019, AWB volunteers began offering free acupuncture relief clinics for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and community first responder volunteers at the international bridge that connects Brownsville, Texas to Matamoros, Mexico.
The international bridge is one of the “points of entry” at which people can apply for asylum. People are living on the Mexico side of the bridge with few survival resources. Meanwhile, those who have managed to get through, are placed in detention centers for several weeks and then released without food or money. Some end up sleeping under the international bridge on the Texas side.
Community first responder volunteer groups, including Las Angry Tias & Abuelas of the RGV, Team Brownsville, and Catholic Charities, have been assisting asylum seekers with food, water, clothes, transportation assistance, shelter, medicine, and toiletries. They have been working around the clock nonstop since the summer, and some volunteers have been experiencing secondary trauma. AWB has partenered with these groups to provide stress and trauma reduction support to migrants as well as volunteers.
USA Today joined AWB during one of our service trips. You can read the article here:
‘It was beautiful’: Acupuncturists help migrants stranded at Mexico border deal with stress ~ Rick Jervis, USA TODAY
Matamoros refugee camp.
photo: Courtney Sacco, USA Today
In Tijuana, we treat asylum seekers and refugees who face devastating living conditions, legal challenges, and health problems – as well as community activists and health practitioners who often suffer from secondary trauma due to their tireless, supportive work. We have done hundreds of treatments at the Espacio Migrante clinic, Prevencasa clinic, and in multiple refugee shelters throughout Tijuana.
The AWB Border Project also assists the Parteras midwives in Tijuana, Mexico, sponsored by the Refugee Health Alliance. The midwives provide obstetrical care to over 80 pregnant people, as well as primary care to hundreds of asylum seekers residing in Tijuana shelters. AWB volunteers trained 10 of the Parteras midwives/students to do Nada ear acupuncture treatments. We continue to support their life-saving work with fundraising, herbal medicine supplies, and tele-training. In-person support will resume when Covid-19 is under control and travel restrictions lifted.
We also work with the InnSpot, an AWB-affiliated Military Stress Recovery Project clinic based in San Diego, to offer treatments at the US Deported Veterans Center in Tijuana. The Center provides legal and social support to US military veterans that have been deported from the US.
Guy Page, from Inn Spot Community Clinic, treats a deported vet in Tijuana.
WORLD HEALING EXCHANGE
AWB has taken multiple World Healing Exchange trips to Mexico, in Baja, Oaxaca and the Yucatan. Stay tuned for more information on ongoing projects as we make more connections and build relationships with local health care providers. Click below to learn more about our World Healing Exchange Program.