reynosa, mexico

05/2021 - Present

In March 2020, the Trump administration enacted a provision of the U.S. Health Law known as Title 42 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy has resulted in that closure of the border to "nonessential" travel and includes asylum in this category.

 

Due to this policy, throughout the duration of the pandemic asylum seekers who have approached the border have expelled back into Mexican cities without credible fear interviews. The policy violates domestic and international laws by barring entry to asylum seekers and deporting those who attempt to cross back into dangerous conditions in Mexico. As of June 2021, nearly one million asylum seekers have been expelled back into Mexico. Numbers are highest in the Rio Grande Valley, where Reynosa and Matamoros are both located.

The border city of Reynosa now hosts asylum seekers from around the world. Along with Central Americans, there are asylum seekers from Haiti, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Guinea, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more. These asylum seekers are trapped at the border, waiting for Title 42 to be repealed so that they may reunite with their families and move on with their lives. Our aim is to work with these communities to improve their living conditions and meet their basic needs for shelter and safety.

Title 42 has resulted in thousands of asylum seekers being stranded in Reynosa. Here's everything we have provided throughout camps, shelters, and safe houses throughout Reynosa:

THE PLAZA

In collaboration with LifeStraw, Team Brownsville, and Doctors Without Borders

A public plaza in Reynosa, MX is home to thousands of asylum seekers. Our team works with the people residing there to address their most critical water, sanitation, and hygiene needs by supplying the plaza with thousands of liters of drinking water weekly and supporting the hygiene team and "free store"- a system in which residents of the camp can access basic hygiene necessities such as toilet paper, soap, pads, and more at any time for free.

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SITE PLANNING

Planning camps where thousands will live is not an easy task. To make this process easier, using drone imagery, ArcGIS, and Sphere Standards, Solidarity designs and creates site maps for new camps and shelters throughout Reynosa and Matamoros prior to construction. Site plans include plans for drainage, infrastructure, road access, storm water management, and more and are completed iteratively to include changes in plans and feedback from partners.

EDUCATION OUTREACH

In partnership with The Sidewalk School

The dense and dangerous living conditions in Reynosa leave almost no space for women and children. To address the lack of educational opportunities in the camps and shelters, and to help integrate more community members into our project, Solidarity teaches women English classes and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in locations we work in throughout Reynosa.

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HYGIENE KITS

In partnership with Team Brownsville, Dr. Bronner’s, Humble Smile Foundation, Valley AIDS Council

Hygiene is the primary way to prevent infections. In partnership with groups all over the country, Solidarity Engineering has made a hygiene kit program in which women, men, and children living in shelters are given individual kits to provide access to basic hygiene needs. 

SHELTER PROJECTS

In collaboration with Colab Manifesto

In order to create more dignified and safe space, Solidarity Engineering is teamed up with a team of architects to create a NewTent. This design uses local materials and creates a community housing block, rather than single tents to create a sheltered community space

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