Trail for Humanity: Mothers and children walk from Merced to the border

by Al Osorio

Trail-for-Humanity-send-off-rally-Fruitvale-Oakland-072114-by-Al-Osorio-300x225, Trail for Humanity: Mothers and children walk from Merced to the border, News & Views
The Trail for Humanity send-off rally in Oakland’s Fruitvale was more determined than celebratory – the adults resolute, the children a little apprehensive – as they prepare to walk 300 miles to the U.S.-Mexico border. – Photo: Al Osorio

Cindy Cristal Gonzalez and Valeska Castaneda Gutierrez are young mothers and college students, deeply proud of their ancestral roots and motivated to help their people. The two worked together with a network of activists, and on Tuesday, July 22, they put their plan into action: mothers and their children walking 300 miles for 30 days to the border to draw attention to the mass deportations, imprisonment and suffering of our people.

What really galvanizes many behind the idea is a way to express our outrage at the vicious hatred of Minutemen, Teabaggers and other racist extremists at busloads of children. The racists are even demonstrating at church masses where the congregations have offered to take in and care for the refugee children.

These young mothers have tremendous courage. I am humbled to know them and honored to help in a small way. In their own words, here is their Mission Statement from the Trail for Humanity website.

“In the era of mass deportations, over incarceration and a humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors at our southern border, we the women of A Trail for Humanity will journey over 300 miles on foot for our children and our families. We will walk from the San Francisco Bay to the U.S.-Mexico border with dignity, with our children and with humanity.

Trail-for-Humanity-organizers-Cindy-Cristal-Gonzalez-and-Valeska-Castaneda-Gutierrez-0714-300x300, Trail for Humanity: Mothers and children walk from Merced to the border, News & Views
Trail for Humanity organizers Cindy Cristal Gonzalez and Valeska Castaneda Gutierrez

“A Trail for Humanity is inspired by the wisdom in the Mayan proverb, In Lak’ Ech Ala K’in, that we are all a reflection of one another. As mothers, we can no longer tolerate the terrorizing of women and children.

“Reuniting with one’s family has become a felony, children are being ripped from the protective arms of parents, migrants are being fed to the Sonora desert sands and refugee children are being kept in torturous conditions. This march brings these realities to the forefront.

“We are taking a stand against the violence targeting migrant women and children. Join us in solidarity as we take a stand for humanity.

“We invite all mothers and their children to join and lead the pilgrimage.”

“Pressure the Obama administration to put a halt to its deportation enforcement-only regime until the Senate and House come together and pass just and humane immigration reform. Not one more deportation!

“Call for an end to the use of police as immigration enforcement agents. No to the failed Secure Communities and 287g programs! No a la poli-migra!

“Demand an end to family separations; 3,750,000 U.S. citizen children have had a parent deported.

“Stem the tide toward racial profiling that has incarcerated so many migrant and African American brothers and sisters, no to SB 1070 and copycat laws, no to gang injunctions! Stop “stop and frisk” and the targeted check points in migrant communities!

This is their website, which includes a map and links for support.