The crisis demands attention.
In war-torn Yemen, 75 percent of the population lives in poverty, with 60 percent food insecure and 8.4 million people unsure of where their next meal will come from, according to United Nations statistics. By any measure the crisis is escalating quickly, with a 61 percent decline in gross domestic product per capita over the past three years and 1.25 million civil servants not being paid in the past 18 months.
Central American migrants start as early as 4 a.m. on their trek northward. Many begin with prayer, asking God to keep them safe and provide them peace and comfort in this frightening journey. Mothers and fathers carry sleeping children on their backs or in strollers, hoping to cover as much distance as they can in a day. If they are lucky, they may catch a ride in a passing truck or receive something to eat from good Samaritans in a local village.
If Luis Ramos Salgado had tried to ride the storm out in his home, he wouldn’t be able to walk down his street on this sunny morning.
“I’d be dead,” he says through a translator, standing in the kitchen of the only home he’s ever known in San Juan’s Caño Martín Peña area.
It’s a pretty port of call.
Mere blocks from where cruise ships pull into San Juan terminal, visitors can find enticing Old San Juan, with its mix of history, shops and restaurants, all open for business, even on a warm but quiet Tuesday night. Veering right, visitors can find conveniences such as bike rentals and a CVS pharmacy, all up and running.
“People go to hotels, Old San Juan and they see the stores open, lights … and they say, ‘Oh, everything is back to normal,’” the Rev. Edwin A. González-Castillo says.
Except it’s not.
For 25 years, Christians have gathered at both sides of the United States and Mexico border at San Diego and Tijuana to re-enact Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus Christ in a service called La Posada Sin Fronteras.
“Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.” — Isaiah 55:1