las patronas: angels of the border


“las patronas mural” by dawn paley is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The immigration process coming to the United States is long and taxing. Often migrants can go days without food, water and the necessary supplies while embarking on their journey. The women of Veracruz, Mexico heard their cries and called to action.


In 1995, two women went out for groceries and as they were walking home they were stopped by a train full of hungry migrants on their way to the U.S. They began shouting at the women “Mother we are hungry! Give us your bread!”  From that encounter, Las Patronas blossomed. What started as giving a loaf of bread and a carton of milk to one person became cooking batches of rice and other foods that could feed up to 800 people. 


The women of Las Patronas work in shifts each day, preparing 30 kilos of donated food daily. They will also open their homes to people traveling through the unsafe parts of Mexico. Not only do they provide food and resources, but they also create a sense of community for people going through incredible hardship. 


What is often misunderstood about people migrating to the U.S. is that people have a choice and that the decision to cross the border is one made out of greed or ill will, when in reality, most people have no other option. The act of uprooting your family and moving to another country in search of a better life is extremely difficult and emotionally draining. Las Patronas are making it their mission to make that transition a little easier for all of those who are going through it.


Through their efforts, the women of Veracruz have been empowered. They lead by example and prove that women can change the world and do anything they set their minds to. They have helped thousands of people for nothing in return, just out of the kindness of their hearts. 


They are named after Patroness Mary of Guadalupe, who they represent with pride. On their website, it states, “It has been 27 years of sadness, joy, of ups and downs, but they have given us one of the most beautiful life experiences.” 


Recently, Las Patronas has gained traction on TikTok. They created their own account to showcase the amazing efforts behind the organization. Other creators on the app have also been highlighting their courageous work, such as creator Nessa Diosdado. Her TikTok page is dedicated to highlighting Latino culture, and with more than 600,000 followers, her platform spreads awareness to a wide variety of people. In her video, she explained, “Throughout the years they have faced many obstacles but they have also gained international recognition for their work.” 


Now that they have a wider outreach, Las Patronas is finally able to get the needed assistance to keep helping members of the community. In 2019, they had a truck donated and many organizations have helped with funding. Their donation information is on their website if you are called to donate!

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