“Where Can We Live in Peace”
Sun, May 17, 4pm
Meeting ID: 835 3529 8670
Contributions to support Abba House’s purchase of a home better suited to its mission will be solicited.
By Joseph Plummer
Mark your calendar for 4pm, Sunday, May 17, and participate in an online viewing and discussion of “Where Can We Live in Peace,” filmmaker Judy Jackson’s powerful documentary about Pastor Ignacio Ramirez and the staff and volunteers of ABBA House. Hosted on Zoom by the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende, the film explores the tortuous realities facing thousands of migrants trekking north through Mexico from Central America—and the extraordinary waystation that provides them a respite and replenishment of courage and hope.
After many years of welcoming a seemingly never-ending pilgrimage to the North, ABBA House has become a model of humanitarian relief for the worldwide human flow of displaced people seeking peace and personal security. With the COVID-19 pandemic in the forefront of global consciousness, Pastor Ignacio’s refuge offers a timely vantage point from which to evaluate the human cost of President Trump’s closed borders, the cancellation of asylum hearings for migrants waiting in Mexico, and the closing of Mexico’s borders with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Once part of a much larger network of migrant shelters, ABBA is one of only three shelters remaining open in Mexico. With fewer allies, overburdened ABBA also faces heightened risk of COVID-19 among migrants deported from the United States already infecting one shelter near the border. The disease has also appeared among migrants deported directly to Guatemala.
As scary as it is for the general public, COVID-19 represents another vector of misery that migrants must avoid between the closed borders of Central America and the United States. Most worry first about being stuck without housing or income in dangerous Mexican border towns. There they are desperate to avoid kidnapping, torture, rape, extortion, and even death at the hands of drug cartels taking advantage of stateless people.
Jackson’s documentary updates a story that has evolved dangerously in the year since Trump threatened harsh tariffs to punish the government of Mexico unless the migrant flow ended. Mexico’s swift compliance with US repression, including the Mexican National Guard, sent to halt migrants at its Southern border, creates more obstacles for thousands pleading to know “Where Can We Live in Peace?”
Viewing this film sequel to Jackson’s acclaimed “Walk with Us,” which documented migrants’ dangerous pathways north, audiences learn about the humanitarian resistance that keeps hope alive at ABBA House.
Following the showing, the audience will discuss these issues with filmmaker Jackson, ABBA House founder Ignacio Ramirez, and a panel including Immigration Attorney Rebecca Eichler, Go-Fund-Me supporter Stan Allen, and a representative of the UN High Commission for Refugees.
To participate in “Where Can We Live in Peace” on May 17, open your web browser shortly before 4pm, and sign into this address: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/. When prompted enter this Meeting ID: 835 3529 8670 and then enter this Password: 142189. Participation in this event is free. However, contributions to support Abba House’s purchase of a home better suited to its mission will be solicited.