The 4th quarter of 2013 was a time of change and extreme growth for El Pozo de Vida. In October we received 8 girls, who were rescued by the government and were victims of labor trafficking. All eight girls are related, either sisters or cousins, and were being sent out to sell candy and gum in the metro and public areas and bring the money back to their parents. The eldest of the girls was also being sex trafficked, and all the girls show signs of sexual abuse by family members as well as strangers for being in alone on the streets for such long periods of time. This is the first legallyprocessed case of child labor trafficking in Mexico. The Mexican government is setting a legal precedent in order to rescue more children from lives of forced labor. El Pozo de Vida is very excited to be part of this major step against trafficking, however the sudden and extreme change has had its impact on the staff, financial resources, and the other girls.
In November, the government asked another favor of El Pozo de Vida. They performed a rescue operation in the red light district and found two underage girls from Honduras being trafficked. Since both girls were brought to Mexico illegally by their trafficker, they were going to be confined in the illegal immigrant detention center. El Pozo de Vida decided it would be better to have them stay in our safehouse until it was time for them to go back to Honduras. So we squeezed another bunk bed into the house and we are now a total of 19 girls. Immigration recently contacted us regarding the two transitory girls. Their parents illegally immigrated to the United States and they have no family in Honduras, so if they are sent back they will most likely end up in a government home or in another situation of vulnerability again. So they are most likely going to stay with us for a longer period of time.
We are desperately looking for a new, larger home to house all of our new girls. We also have had to reject accepting other rescued victims recently for lack of space. Unfortunately for lack of resources finding a new home has been a challenge. We are currently working with the government in order to receive a government repossessed home for free or reduced rent. Please keep this situation in your prayers.
We have begun preparations for the holiday season. Some of the American staff taught them about thanksgiving and had them write what they are thankful to hang in the kitchen. Almost all of them said they were thankful for their food!
Thank you again for your generous donations and for investing into the lives and health of underage trafficking victims in Mexico City. We have stretched your funds to the max and have been able to feed all 19 girls thanks to your support. The Alkare Foundation has been a huge blessing in meeting one of the most basic needs of our girls.
El Pozo de Vida, A.C
Mexico City, Mexico