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Keila Molina – Mexico – Casa Alianza

Hola from Mexico City! For the next two months, Mexico City will be my “casa” while away from the USA. Here, I will be an intern for Casa Alianza, an international organization originally established as Covenant House in New York. Casa Alianza Mexico is dedicated to helping street children and youth by providing them with shelter, rehabilitation assistance, advocating against child exploitation, and offering other protection services for children.

I arrived to Mexico City early on Wednesday, June 1st, wearing my “Seek Justice” t-shirt from International Justice Mission (attire quite fitting for embarking on this adventure) and amazingly with only one suitcase and a carry-on (packing up only 55 pounds of my belongings was quite challenging!).

For the past five days, I have been exploring this large city which consists of a metropolitan population of about 22 million people. This area is the Federal District and the capital of the Mexican Republic and it has numerous suburbs surrounding it. To put it simply, I have felt overwhelmed in trying to take it all in.

At first glance, walking out of the airport somewhat reminded of walking out of LAX, Chicago Midway, or maybe even Dulles airport. Here, a high amount of traffic is a given wherever you go. Commercial high rise buildings are everywhere, not just lumped in one section of the city. So far, I have seen how history is blended with the latest technology; ancient pyramids compete for attention with Six Flags, casinos, or a horse derby; traditional street mercados are popular but so are American style mega malls with the latest name brands; and beautiful colonial architecture shares the same street as deteriorated buildings.

And my heart has been in an uproar. While out in the city, I have seen men wearing expensive-looking business suits, toting Mont Blanc laptop bags, or even driving an Audi – while on the same street just blocks away, a group of young boys lie huddled together sleeping on the sidewalk with piles of trash surrounding them as they share a dirty, stained blanket in an attempt to cover their small bodies.

Apparently, homeless children are not at all an anomaly in Mexico City. Here, children can live on the streets on their own; work selling gum or candy; ditch school and go to the local park even while wearing their school uniforms; or even dress up as clowns working on busy intersections. It seems impossible to change anything, but I know that God cares for these children and that I must do my part and remain obedient to His calling to care for the needs of those who are vulnerable, overlooked, and forgotten.

This Monday, June 6th, I begin my internship with Casa Alianza. I am eager to learn everything I can about the work this organization is doing and I hope to help in every way I can as an intern for its legal department. Please keep the children of Mexico in your prayers. Gracias!