MATAMOROS, mexico

Decades of increasingly inhuman and harsh immigration policies coinciding with a documented militarization of the border have resulted in sustained violence against migrants at the border and thousands dead. This trend continued when asylum seekers were required to wait their cases out in Mexico in unsafe border cities, often in shelters or informal settlements, due to the 2019 Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

MPP gave birth to the Matamoros camp. Sitting on the banks of the Rio Grande, the Matamoros camp was around 7 acres in size and the majority of the residents came from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti, and Mexico. The camp was not internationally recognized - all services were provided via humanitarian aid.

 

The camp closed in March 2021, but that was not the end of migrants in Matamoros. Alternatives to the camp are being developed and we intend to help to house the growing number of refugees waiting to cross the border. Read more about Solidarity Engineering's projects with the Matamoros camp and community below.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Volunteering with the Resource Center of Matamoros and Global Response Management

COVID-19 has been indiscriminately devastating to all people, everywhere. To keep residents of the camp safe and healthy during a global pandemic, we took steps to make sure the camp was equipped to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

WATER FILTRATION

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros and Global Response Management

Residents of the camp need access to clean water. We help to meet this need with a water filtration system. The water is tested and monitored, and we perform maintenance when required.

PLAYGROUND CONSTRUCTION

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros and Team Brownsville

No matter where they are, all children deserve a safe space to play and be kids. With that in mind, we constructed a locally-sourced playground, which will be given to the city of Matamoros when the camp is closed.

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STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros and Global Response Management

The Matamoros camp is located on the banks of the Rio Grande, making flooding a serious concern for camp residents. To address this concern, we successfully executed several projects to manage stormwater in and around the camp.

SHOWERS

In collaboration with Global Response Management

Before our involvement, the 39 showers in the Matamoros were non-functional. We designed a new water distribution system, fixed the showers, and made them user-friendly with doors and hooks.

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GIS MAPPING

Our team mapped the Matamoros camp on three separate occasions using drone imagery and historic data. Mapping the camp gives us a better understanding of the layout and allows us to more easily evaluate the potential impacts of flooding.

FLOOD ANALYSIS AND RESPONSE

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros

Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico can make landfall near the Matamoros camp. We track storms and prepare plans for the worst. When storms do make landfall, we jump into action.

ELECTRONIC SURVEYING

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros

As our name suggests, our work is done in solidarity with those we strive to help. We are working with the camp residents, so their feedback is essential. We created QR code surveys for camp residents and made that data available for all to see. 

SITE INFRASTRUCTURE

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros and Team Brownsville

While the camp is not meant to be a forever home, that doesn't mean that residents shouldn't have access to well-constructed facilities. We raised money, bought materials, helped to build a number of infrastructure projects.

SOCCER FIELD

In collaboration with the Resource Center of Matamoros and Team Brownsville

After our playground project was completed, we found that we had some funds leftover. In the spirit of youth recreation, we decided to keep the fun going by constructing a soccer field in some newly available space.

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