Late in the evening on October 17 the phone rang at the Sisters’ community at Dispensario “San Jose” in Guatemala City. On the other end of the line was a Scalabrini Sister from the local Migrants Services Center. A caravan of 1,500 migrants from Honduras had arrived at their doors, cold, desperate, and in need of medical care.
This group of people, including many women and children, have been traveling by foot to escape the rampant violence in their home country. They come in family units, carrying what personal belongings they can, often not much more than the clothes and pack on their back. Many of the children are sick from dehydration and other illnesses they have contracted along the way.
Sr. Concepcion Vallecillo, MSC, director of Dispensario “San Jose” leapt into action. She rallied the Sisters in her community and contacted critical members of her staff. They acquired medical supplies and other necessities such as blankets and warm clothes from the clinic and, with a doctor, a nurse, and two young practitioners, drove the short distance to the Scalabrini run Migrant Services Center. There, in cooperation with the Guatemalan Red Cross, Sisters and clinic staff went to work attending to the medical needs of the people. Once the basic necessities, first aid, and medical attention had been seen to, the Sisters offered spiritual accompaniment and prayer.
Cabrini is on the front line. The staff of Dispensario “San Jose” is living the charism of caring for migrants and those on the margins. Please keep these first responders to the Honduran migrants in Guatemala in your prayers. If you are able to donate to the clinic to support their efforts, please click the link below and select “Migrant Relief” as the designation.