Things That Matter

Fire At Migrant Shelter In Mexicali Leaves Nearly 200 People Without A Home, Here’s How You Can Help

People seeking shelter at a migrant and refugee camp in the bordertown of Mexicali are facing yet another crisis as their temporary homes were burnt down over the weekend. In a massive blaze, the Refugio del Migrante shelter in the historic center of Mexicali was burnt to the ground leaving nearly 200 people without a place to call home while they await word on their future plans.

Now, with no place to go and being forced to live on the streets of Mexicali – where temperatures are frequently above 110 degrees – the community is coming together to try and help those displaced and, thankfully, there’s ways we all can help.

Mexicali migrant shelter burns to the ground leaving hundreds homeless.

Over the weekend there was a massive fire that completely destroyed the Mexicali Refugio del Migrante shelter, which is located in the city’s Historical Center. The migrant shelter, run by the civil association COBINA, was home to 152 people, including 22 minors.

Most of the migrants housed in that shelter are originally from Central America, specifically from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, according to the administrator Altagracia Tamayo Madueño. According to authorities, the fire started in an adjoining barracks at approximately 1:40 a.m., then the flames reached the migrant shelter, whose residents had already been evacuated.

According to shelter residents, the fire was casued by a short circuit in a power breaker. But the center’s administration says that they had just inspected the building for faulty wiring on instructions from the civil authoritiy.

The shelter’s residents are still without a long term solution to their housing crisis.

Credit: Refugio del Migrante – Facebook

As of early this week, not one government authority had spoken up about the incident or offered to help the nearly 200 people who are now homeless. However, officials from the United Nations Organization for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have stepped up to transfer migrants to the Alfa y Omega and El Hijo Prodigo shelters, depending on where they want to be.

Other migrant shelters, including those as far away as Mexico City, have offered to take in migrants affected by the fire. But so far little has been offered in the way of support from local or federal government authorities.

So, how can we help those affected by the fire?

Credit: Refugio del Migrante

The Refugio del Migrante is asking for help from both inside and outside of Baja California. Whether you are able to make a financial donation (to the accounts listed above) or prefer to send supplies or make a donation in another way, the center desperately needs our help.

You can find out more and discover other ways you can help by visiting them on Facebook.

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