Today 25 mourners gathered to remember and pray for GUADALUPE VEGA VEGA, age 20, who perished in one of the most beautiful valleys in southern Arizona. We placed the cross for Guadalupe on the property of a friend who promised to cherish his memory forever. May the spirit of Guadalupe fill this land and bring forth new life where struggle and death reigned.
In the heat of the September morning sun, we placed a memorial cross near the town of Tombstone for ADRIAN OLVERA RODRIGUEZ, age 29. Adrian walked on the same migrant path that thousands have traversed, from the Dragoon mountains to the Whetstones– to a better life. Adrian lost his life in this unforgiving mountainous desert and failed to reach the fulfillment of his dreams. We pray for Adrian, his family and for our country whose unjust laws force people to take this incredible risk.
JOSE ANTONIO BECERRA TOLOZA, age 32, died in 2009 after walking many days in the Huachuca Mountains. How sad and tragic that this young man’s dreams came to an end on the property of a US Army Fort where thousands of people live.
Today we read a poem written by Saulo Padilla, whose 19 year old nephew was killed as he rode atop the train (the “bestia”) as he traveled to the US/MX border. We prayed for peace for Jose Antonio and Saulo’s nephew and consolation for their families.
We also prayed with Saulo that God would “sow seeds of peace and justice in the hearts and minds of those who resist their journey”.
Litany of the Displaced
In the Migrant….Saulo Padilla prayer
Before the monsoon rains fell, a few, yet committed, people gathered on Hwy. 90, which runs parallel to the Whetstone Mountains, to remember and pray for an unidentified man who lost his life pursuing a dream for his family. May he fly high with the eagles and may his family find peace even in his absence.
On one of the hottest days in Arizona history, eighteen women, men and children braved the scorching desert near Cochise Stronghold of the Dragoon Mountains to remember and honor ANDRES RAMIREZ ORTIZ, age 35 and his hurting family. We also remembered all humanitarian aid organizations who, because of their commitment to put an end to migrant deaths, tirelessly carry water and food daily into our brutal desert.
Although we were small in number, we gathered to remember our friend, ANA MARIA VANEGAS VAZQUEZ, age 34, whose remains were found in 2015. This was the first time we placed a cross in an oak forest where the silence and the shade was a beautiful gift as we prayed and recalled the sad journey of Ana Maria.
A small but committed group, with hearts broken open by the pain of the passing of ELEAZAR CIFUENTES DIAZ, age 40, traveled a long distance to the northern section of the Whetstone Mountains, near Sierra Vista. We traveled this distance looking for the location where Eleazar’s remains were discovered, just a mere 6 months ago after four or more days of walking through the Sonoran desert. We prayed that he would be at peace and his family, who miss him so greatly, would have some semblance of consolation at his loss.