The Migrant Caravan & What We Can Do About It
The Migrant Caravan. What I suggest we can do to help our neighbors.
By: Tom Hackett
Thousands of people from Central America are making their way to what they think is the “Promised Land”. It is nothing new. Each year thousands of people make their way from Honduras and other Central American countries up through Mexico and on into the U.S. and Canada. They are right of course. This is the land of opportunity and where dreams can come true. That is especially true in comparison to the poverty and danger they are leaving behind. While I understand and sympathize with what they are doing I don’t think it has to be this way.Without going on and on about corruption, manipulation by politicians, and the nefarious motives of human traffickers, drug cartels and others taking advantage of U.S. immigration policies and porous borders I do think there are some things that can be done to address the issue of mass migration.
I have been working with the poor in Central America and Mexico for 30 years. The poverty I have encountered has motivated me to be involved in providing homes for the poor (120+) through our Dwellings home building efforts. I have personal knowledge of the frustrations, struggles, fears, and dreams that the poor have to live with. I get it. I have come to believe that we; The Promise Land Dwellers; could do more to help address some of the issues that contribute to the conditions and give people hope and reasons to not need to leave their countries of origin. I believe the vast majority of citizens of Central American countries would love to make their country a better place and stay in the land they love. They are beautiful countries with lovely people.
Here are a few things I think we; as the promised land dwellers can do to help make Central America a place people do not have to leave in order to survive and thrive.
Government aid - Give significant financial aid to to U.S. based Non Government Agencies (NGO’s) to help with housing, food, medical care, and education. NGO’s are the key to effectively addressing the “on the ground” issues common people face. Federal governments and the United Nations are famous for wasting and skimming funds for personal benefit instead of serving their intended purpose. I believe NGO’s can make money go farther and be more responsive to local need. NGO’s also provide accountability to the U.S. government through tax law via a yearly 990 reporting document. The use of funds would be transparent to the American public.
Corporate Investments - Panama and Costa Rica do not seem to have the same immigration issues as Honduras. Why? Because Chinese, Indian and U.S. corporations have made significant investments in those countries that provide locals with jobs and hope. We need to get creative and generous as we make investment in other Central American countries. I believe we can have what I call “Compassionate Capitalism” impact the world for good.
What you can do - Get involved in an NGO that is helping to meet the needs of hunger, medical care, education and housing. In addition to giving Go for a week, month or longer. The first hand knowledge of life and the opportunity to fall in love with the people will help you understand their needs and make you a better person. Find a child, family, village or project to to be involved in long term. I know many people and groups that have done this and it has turned out to be a life and community changer.
As this and inevitably future caravans approach we need to ask ourselves if it is better to help people in their countries of origin or spend much more in human suffering and dollars responding to their need as they are knocking on our door.
We are making a difference in Honduras and Mexico. Let’s build a home for a family. You can do this!