We often wonder, what does it take for a person to leave everything behind? - It takes everything, the wholeness of their body, mind and soul. We must commence this particular adventure with what we perceive the most important item in it is. La Casa del Migrante.
We often link immigration to political debate stages across The United States, however, immigration issues affect several countries around the globe. By default, if The United States is dealing with complex immigration issues, Mexico is as well. Many of the migrants coming to The United States from many countries around the world, often jumpstart their crossing through Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, one of Mexico's bordering states. La Casa del Migrante's concept is a simple humanitarian idea; help those in need.
If you think about it, the irony is somewhat bizarre. Allow us to elaborate in this incongruity. In one of Saltillo's trendy district, the statue of Mexico's 37th president and legendary revolutionary leader Venustiano Carranza stands tall.
Venustiano Carranza was a great military leader, who is well known within historian circles, for being the one who held the North Americans and kept them out of Mexico. Many would argue that history has a funny way to repeat itself. It is now the North Americans who are trying to keep others out.
As we continued to venture deeper into Saltillo, two things became evident to us. First, the automotive industry has a significant presence in Saltillo and drives the economy. Mercedes-Benz and General Motors both have assembly plants here, and Chrysler operates a truck assembly plant, a sedan assembly plants, and two engine facilities.
The Second was the heavy influence of The Roman Catholic Church. This is not entirely uncommon when traveling through Mexico. It is the norm.
Everywhere we went, it was impossible to see someone who lacked faith. We sat there for a while, as we admired the devoted persons who came through the central cathedral’s door. The Virgen de Guadalupe’s altar was the most visited.
The Colonial streets in the city’s old town are always mesmerizing. In a way, it feels like going back in time. Who walked where we are walking? Who stood where we are standing? – These are some of the questions we asked ourselves while navigating through Saltillo’s time portal.
Of course, no trip is complete without a great culinary experience. And what a great experience this was. Handmade tortillas were standard at every place we visited. We also discovered that there was no need to scroll down a menu because the taste of freshly-made-from-scratch was phenomenal, so our food choices were always the same; “bring us whatever you want. We’ll eat it with pleasure “Nonetheless, as we talked to the locals, they didn’t seem to appreciate the simple things in their daily lives that we were amazed at. Many of them are always worrying and planning their odyssey to The United States. Our farewell message to them was sincere: You can’t get so hung up on where you rather be, that you forget to make the best of where you are.