Meet Our Artists and Artisan
Community Partners

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Bordando Esperanza an Artisans Beyond Borders Project

Artisans Beyond Borders supports asylum seekers waiting at the ports of entry for an opportunity to present their asylum case.

The artisans they support create beautiful mantas which Artisans Beyond Borders then market and sell with the proceeds going back to the women and families.

Stuck in limbo in an unfamiliar country, this project creates a life line for so many as they await their next step on an often long and arduous journey.

Casa de la Esperanza

Casa de la Esperanza came to life around the need to support the many people traveling through the community of Sasabe in search of asylum in the U.S.

Like many border communities, migrants began looking for shelter in the small town of Sasabe while they waited for the next stage of their journey.

The local women running Casa de la Esperanza recognized the need for community members, as well as migrants, to create revenue streams to support their families.

Through their participation in the Artisan Project, these women are addressing two major issues; they are creating opportunities for families to stay in their home communities, and finding innovative ways for the local and migrant communities to come together.

We are proud to have them as artisans in our project.

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Casa de la Misericordia

Sister Lika has created an oasis in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico for those waiting to cross into the U.S.

Her sanctuary, filled with gardens, playgrounds, chickens, classrooms, dormitories, and more, provides a safe place for families to call home during their difficult journey.

Unlike most shelters, Sister Lika has no time limit for how long families can stay. Some of her residents have been there for upwards of two years while they wait for an opportunity to apply for asylum.

Through the Artisan Project, these women are able to create pieces of art that represent the home communities that they hold dear in their heart.

By sharing their culture and artistic gifts with the world, they are generating the income needed to sustain their family while they await the next part of their journey.

We are proud to have them as artisans in our project.

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Maria in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

Maria is a single mother with 3 children who recently had no other choice than to try and cross into the U.S. to find work to feed her family.

Hearing that crossing was easier in a different border town, Maria paid a guide to move her within her own country. During her trek with other migrants, she fell behind the group and was left alone in the desert with no food or water for three days. 

She was found in the mountains by the Mexican military and brought to the women at Casa de la Esperanza who gave her food, water, opened their homes to her, and helped her return home.

In Maria's words:

"The story that happened to me was difficult but the truth is so difficult here on this side (of the border) that sometimes we have to risk our lives. I just wanted to raise something for my children maybe 1 year or 2  with work and sacrifice I would achieve more.

 

Safe and returned to be with them I am a single woman but I do not give up because they are the most beautiful thing that I have."

We are honored to have her as an artisan in our project, where she is learning to create a sustainable future from home.

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Maria from El Salvador

Maria and her family left
El Salvador over 3 years ago in hopes of making it to the U.S.

This family of 5 spent 3 years living in shelters in Mexico while they waited for their chance to present their case for asylum.

During their wait Maria became increasingly ill and when they were finally able to cross she spent 3 weeks in a hospital fighting for her life.

While her health remains fragile, she and her family are living with a sponsor in Arizona and beginning to exhale after their long journey.

 

The kids are enrolled in school and they are learning what life can be like when they feel safe.

Like all asylum seekers, they are unable to apply for a work visa until they have been in the country for 180 days.

 

Through their participation in our project, Maria, Cati, and Rosa are able to bring in some income to help meet the needs of their family.

We are proud to have them as artisans in our project.

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Wendy from El Salvador

Wendy and her family fled El Salvador in 2016. Her mom and step-dad owned several clothing stores in their town and became targets for the local Barrio 18 gang.

They were unable to stay home any longer when the gang members demanded $5000 or they would be back to kill the family. Leaving everything behind they fled in the middle of the night and traveled to Tapachula, Mexico.

 

Her story in Mexico is one of struggle, discrimination and hardship. Until one day a gang member who had traveled to the area recognized Wendy's sister and together with their mother, they had to flee again. This time they made it to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico just as the border shut down and no asylum requests were being heard.

In Nogales, Wendy connected with Salvavision and was able to return home to El Salvador.

 

We are honored to have her as a part of the project where she is working hard to create a sustainable future for her family from home.

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Sandra in Chiapas, Mexico

Sandra is the mother of our Artisan Member, Wendy. Their family was forced to leave

El Salvador in 2016 when they could no longer meet the demands of the Barrio 18 gang.

 

Fleeing in the middle of the night, they left behind businesses and classes at the university.

Their journey took them to Tapachula, Mexico where Sandra's youngest daughter was identified by a gang member in the area and their lives were again in danger.

Making their way to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico they believed they were finally going to be able to share their story and request safety and asylum within the Unites States. One week after their arrival, our border closed to all asylum seekers and they felt their last glimmer of hope fade away.

Through the support of Salvavision, Sandra and her younger daughter relocated to Chiapas, Mexico.

We are honored to have Sandra in our project working to create a better future for the two of them from their new home.

Samples of Their Incredible Art
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