migrants hosted by Carmen
and her family since 2017
Between Carmen’s eight sons (five of whom live at home), her elderly parents whom she cares for (one of whom has Alzheimer’s), and her grandchildren who stay with her on weekends, Carmen has her hands full. But after seeing a migrant collapse from exhaustion on the road, Carmen felt called to help.
“They said that they would rather die than go on because their feet couldn’t go anymore,” she says. Carmen started offering her home as resting place for migrants and refugees. Today, most of the people who knock on her door have heard about her hospitality through word of mouth.
Carmen has put bunk beds and mattresses in a spare bedroom for women and children. Men sleep on mattresses inside a disaster relief tent on the house’s roof. On nights when she hosts over 100 guests, she also sets up smaller tents in her yard.
On any given day, Carmen is greeting new guests, cooking meals, referring people to a nearby medical clinic, linking migrants with humanitarian agencies, and coordinating other logistics needed to run her growing operation.
“I have a lot of energy,” Carmen says while running a tap outside her house so guests can wash their clothes in a sink. “This work makes me happy. I’m happy to help.”