Florida Farmers Association-Apopka, along with local organizations, mobilizes to help Haitian refugees on the US-Mexico border

Photo by Zach Navires

“With so many Haitian farm workers in our own community of Apopka, we are called to act. “

From the Farmworkers Association of Florida – Apopka

In response to the humanitarian crisis on the US border with Mexico in Del Rio, Texas, where approximately 10,000 Haitian refugees were camped out in the open, a coalition of local organizations, including the Farmworkers Association of Florida (FWAF) in Apopka, and many others have launched an effort to help assess and resolve the situation and develop a plan of action.

“Our hearts are breaking for the thousands of Haitian men, women and their children who suffer from the lack of food, water, shelter and health care along the border in Del Rio, Texas” , said Jeannie Economos, Coordinator of the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Program with FWAF Apopka. “Many have family here in the United States and just want a chance to be reunited, to have a life for themselves and their families, and to breathe freely. With so many Haitian farm workers in our own community of Apopka, we are called to act. “

Nattacha Wyllie, of the Haitian American Art Network, Inc., has organized a team of allies to travel to Del Rio, where they hope to help some of the refugees find temporary accommodation, and assess and document conditions on the ground. the.

The purpose of the trip is to find and identify these refugees with families in Florida, and,
especially in Central Florida, who hope to reunite with their families in our region. The need for transportation and accommodation to make the trip from Texas to Florida is, in some cases, all that prevents a reunion. A coalition of organizations is launching an awareness and fundraising campaign to help both individuals and families, and to alleviate the suffering and crisis at the border. The group anticipates needing supplies, such as food, water, diapers and other baby items, as well as legal aid and mental health support for those making the long trip. In the long term, there will be a need for safe and secure housing and conditions.

“We strongly support the efforts of our MP Val Demings, co-chair of the Chamber
Haiti Caucus, which is leading efforts to end this border crisis and called for immediate action to address the concerns of the Haitian diaspora, ”said Marie François, Executive Director of the Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention.

All those concerned about this humanitarian crisis are invited to respond by donating the requested items or money to cover the costs of the Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention, 1685 Lee Road, Suite 200, Winter Park FL, 32789.

Donations needed

  • Food
  • The water
  • Diapers and other baby items
  • Legal assistance
  • Mental health support
  • Lodging
  • Funding

You can also call Mears Transportation to encourage them in their best interests to provide transportation to identified refugees from Texas to central Florida. For any questions or additional information, please contact: Nattacha Wyllie, 321-240-9812.

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