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Migrant Resource Center Still An Oasis For People Journeying Towards Hope

Donaldo Maradiaga and his daughter Nayely outside the city's migrant resource center.
Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
Donaldo Maradiaga and his daughter Nayely outside the city's migrant resource center.

The city’s migrant resource center continues to help asylum seekers who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and were transported to San Antonio. At least 27,000 people received a warm meal, a medical screening, a safe place to rest or travel assistance since March.

Many waited in the Alamo City until they could be permanently settled with family or friends elsewhere in the country.

During a late July morning,  several dozen men and women chatted, relaxed and ate as children played in the center’s dining area and a sitting room. Pages from coloring books migrant children had decorated were arranged on a wall.

City spokesman Roland Martinez said most of the migrants came from Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean region.

“We’ve seen an influx of migrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo, from Angola, and more recently, like in the last three weeks or months, migrants from Haiti,” he said.

Pages of coloring books migrant children have decorated.
Credit Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
Pages of coloring books migrant children have decorated.

Forty-six-year-old Donaldo Maradiaga says he came here to escape gang warfare and high unemployment in Honduras. He brought his wife and two young daughters -- one just two years old -- through Central America and Mexico, and it was tough.

Martinez translated for Maradiaga:

“He and his family left Honduras about 33 days ago. It was a very, very difficult journey, especially since he had family with him,” Martinez said.

“They traveled by train and by bus. In Mexico, they had to do a lot of hiding because Mexico is not very open to them, but it was a very tough journey. So he is just looking to get started here with his family.”

The center assisted Maradiaga with food, shelter and travel tickets to reach his destination: Miami, Florida.

”God bless North America,” Maradiaga said. He called his treatment excellent.

The city operates the center with assistance from Catholic Charities and the food bank. They accept volunteers and donations but prospective donors and workers should contact them first.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.

Copyright 2020 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Brian Kirkpatrick has been a journalist in Texas most of his life, covering San Antonio news since 1993, including the deadly October 1998 flooding, the arrival of the Toyota plant in 2003, and the base closure and realignments in 2005.