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Students assisting migrant shelter through new program

TUCSON— Students at two Arizona universities are volunteering at a local migrant shelter as a part of a new course aimed at health care.

The new program is called Milagro, which stands for Migration Interprofessional Leading to Action and Growth.

The program gives college students the chance to problem solve for the Tucson migrant shelter. One of the areas needing improvement is helping those arriving from out of the country with English speaking skills.

"We really wanted to give people some basics as to how they might be able to communicate maneuvering life in a new place," said Arizona State University student Ailsa Guardiola Gonzalez.

Students also created a resource guide for the top ten cities in the country, and made a video demonstrating how the Greyhound bus system works.

"The purpose for the course is for students to get real life experience of what it is to work inter disciplinary and also to learn the needs of the population here at Casa Alitas," said Brenda Sanchez, the National Program Coordinator for SEAHEC.

"Over the Summer we worked really hard on bettering our protocols and procedures," said CASA Alitas Program Manager Diego Pina Lopez. "This semester was the first semester to do it during the normal school year and continuing the work as well as developing new projects."

They're projects the students hope to one day share with other migrant shelters along the U.S.- Mexico border.

"Getting to help anybody is always nice," said UArizona student Jennifer Ramirez. "But being able to help such a wide variety of people is just kind of an amazing thing to be able to accomplish especially as a first year student."

"Over all it was a very great experience for all of us I think," UArizona student Maiya Block said.

Every day, Casa Alitas serves dozens of migrants seeking asylum, working to get them on their feet and reunited with family or friends.

Officials with the non-profit say they are in need of water, Pedialyte and three shipping containers. For more information about Casa Alitas, click here.

Denelle Confair

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