Gente Unida, is a California based non-profit 501c3, focused on providing services and programs in response to the challenges of immigrants along the US and Mexican border. The organization enhances the lives of both adults and migrant/ refugee children and raises the conversation about humane immigration, human rights and social justice. Gente Unida was founded by Enrique Morones, the original founder of Border Angels, after he retired from Border Angels in November 2019. The Gente Unida website is at www.genteunida.net.
The mission and programs of Gente Unida focus in three main areas: 1) Education, and telling the truth about the immigration phenomenon; and changing the perception of the migrant; 2) The importance of voting in November 2020; and 3) Educational and arts programs for Migrant / Refugee children, especially in partnership with migrant shelters in Baja, California.
Gente Unida has four main service areas:
1) An ongoing series of podcasts, called Buen Hombre / Magnificent Mujer – a series of conversations between Enrique Morones and courageous men and women about spirituality, creativity, service and activism. Websites for these sites are www.BuenHombre.org and www.MagnificentMujer.org
2) The SOS Migrante Partnership with Baja California shelters – long standing outreach programs to migrant/refugee shelters, predominately in Baja California, Mexico. Human Rights Activist Hugo Castro is the conduit on the Baja programs, as we send donations and much needed supplies to these shelters
3) HE(ART)S ONLINE:School Box Virtual Spanish/English Art Classes without Borders
Hearts Online is an initiative that provides Spanish speaking children and youth in shelters and detention facilities in Tijuana, Mexico with quality arts programming, including painting, hand-crafts, music, and creative movement instruction in an online format, produced by the Gente Unida creative team of artists, and technical producers delivered weekly online over the internet and facilitated by shelter staff and volunteers in the shelters using donated and purchased arts and crafts materials and tools.
Studies across the United States and internationally in healthcare, community and afterschool settings have demonstrated that the arts have a unique ability to engage youth who have undergone substantial emotional, physical, and mental trauma and that are experiencing the effects of isolation due to hospitalization, incarceration, quarantine or other reasons. The expectation of this instruction is to allow each participant to be seen and heard and engaged in a safe way on their own terms. All curriculums will be developed specifically with this unique population in mind with “layers of engagement” that need each child at the place that is most comfortable for them.
4). Workshops, Education, Training, Mentorship, Physical Sponsorship and Internship Opportunities for individuals and organizations in the area of creating spaces for compassionate and strategic dialogue in the areas of human rights, immigrant rights, US Mexican Border issues and homelessness issues.
“Never has there been a more important time to organize, rise up and speak the truth. Our voices will be loud and clear as we fight for justice,” according to Morones. “Our grandchildren will ask, ‘what did you do, while children were taken from their parents, caged and several died in immigration custody?’ We responded, we acted with actions of love and fought for justice.”