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Standing for the rights of migrants from the Americas: Meet Gema Vizueth, Mexico.

1.    Could you describe the first moment when you realized you wanted to do this work?

When I was a kid, me and my family emigrated to the USA and experienced multiple scenarios where we were discriminated for having an illegal condition, for being from a different country or having different color skin.I’m am a Geologist, but for some reason I was invited to work for government on migration matter, I immediately said yes and now I work for those who seek for a better future (Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, etc.) and walk for days or risk their lives on a dangerous routes just to get to the Northern country of America. We provide food, water, shelter, medical and physiological care, and legal advice so their human rights are not violated.


2.       Could take us through a day of your work? Where do you put most of your time and energy?

I’m in the area of International Connection/Link, so what I do is that I try to attend every foreign community that lives, transits or visits the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. If there’s someone with a vulnerability status, we try our best to assist and provide what the person needs.  I also attend meetings where I try to be inclusive with these communities and we arrange activities where they can participate with their country’s customs.


3.       What are your key achievements in your work?

The assistance of many migrants that come from the southern border and the right use of governments resources to attend this issue.


4.     How does your organization promote inclusive participation of youth from diverse backgrounds?

My boss tries hard to involve young communities and a big example is me and other coworkers that are really young. He also expects us to collaborate with many other youth participants so that our Secretary has that empathy for other congregations.


5.       What has been your hardest struggle so far, and how did you get over it? 

The apathy of society, the misconception of the word MIGRATION  and the misleading media that promotes hate and intolerance. I haven’t gotten over it, but I will keep working.


6.       What is the biggest challenge you currently face?

I think that the lack of participation.


7.       What has been your biggest surprise on this journey so far?

That I myself had to get rid of mentalities and prejudices. That sometimes people use this topic (or some others) to promote their persona and obtain personal benefits, without really being interested at first. 


8.       What keeps you going and give you inspiration in your work? What gives you hope?

My sister who passed away 7 years ago from leukemia and was a migrant who received from her teacher a racist attitude. My mother who travel at the age of 28 with two little girls to another country without knowing the language, but manage to handle it and my father who was a construction worker and was waiting for us on the other side of the border.I know what is like to be away from your family, your roots, your country… to not know the language, the customs, the ways… I want to help those who run away from violence, hunger, oppression… we are all brothers.


9.       If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Fear is just an engine that will make you go further… press that pedal.


10.   What words of encouragement would you give to women, children, minorities, and other disempowered groups when they are facing rejection because of the prevailing cultural norm?

The value of your soul is more powerful than soldiers, bombs, racism, judgment… death. 

Gema with the consul of Guatemala and El Salvador.

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