Originally from Guerrero, Mexico, Rosalinda fled escalating violence in her home town in order to build a better life in the US. “I was picked up, kidnapped, and tortured by armed men,” Rosalinda recounts her traumatic experience. Some of her extended family members also fled Mexico after her cousin was killed. Fueled by fear, Rosalinda and her four children left everything behind and headed north. “I walked for three days to Tijuana, and I worried especially about the children,” she said. “But I reassured them that I was here for them, and that they didn’t have to worry.”
Upon their arrival, Rosalinda and her children were booked into a detention center at the US border. Rosalinda recalls the terrible conditions at the detention facility, yet she also remembers a sense of relief in escaping the horrific violence and lack of security in Guerrero.
Her family has faced many difficulties in trying to rebuild their lives in the US. Rosalinda explains that she was not able to work, and, therefore, has had to rely upon community-based organizations for basic needs, including food.
In December 2015, another community partner referred Rosalinda to Nile Sisters Development Initiative. Rosalinda’s family became recipients of the Nile Sisters annual Adopt-a-Family outreach, which aims to ease economic hardships for refugee and immigrant families at year’s end. Rosalinda’s “adoptive” family made great strides in helping Rosalinda and her children to adjust to their new lives, and the two families have forged a mutual friendship through the process. Adopt-a-Family gifts included warm outerwear for the whole household, school backpacks, and clothes for the children’s return to school classrooms.
In the face of daily challenges, Rosalinda remains grateful. She hopes her children will continue to succeed. “My 15-year-old daughter studied English and is doing very well in her classes. And the younger children are quickly learning the new language, too.” Rosalinda has expressed interest in becoming a certified nursing assistant as she has prior experience in the Mexican healthcare system. “I have a passion for cooking, and ideally, I would like to do something with that, but I also want to work in health and be able to provide a better life for my family here.“