Mexico ranks among the most dangerous countries in the world for women, where organized crime and human trafficking are said to play a big role in the death rate. The local governments have classified the murders of more than 90 women this year alone as acts of femicide, or the intentional killing of girls and women simply because they are female. With the drug wars taking place, the percentage of women being forced into the trade is increasing as well as their use of drugs. It has nearly doubled in the last decade!
We care about this and want it to change! While we know we cannot just waive a magic wand, we can definitely partner with others that have the same heart! Back in 2016, Our Founder and President went to Mexico to visit an old friend who left the States about 8 years prior. He was an English teacher so Jennifer was able to go to work with him and help teach the classes for the children. When Sunday rolled around, she went to church with he, his wife and family and met the local Chief of Police who was also in attendance that particular day. It was an immediate connection considering Jennifer has worked in some aspect of law enforcement for a lot of years in the United States. Her curiosity about how different it is and the local issues they face led to an unexpected invitation to a day at the Police Department with the officers and Chief. After a day with them, the relationship continued and Chief ended up taking her and her husband about an hour out of the town to a rescue center called The Refugio. This rescue center is a safe place for women (and men) to come as they remove themselves from the dangers of the streets and trafficking activities. The stories of the women are stories of strength, hope and resilience despite the tragic points. While most are from within Mexico, so many more are from other countries that escaped harm en route to other dangers planned for them. Jennifer and Needham have continued to come back to this Refuge several times a year and joined the locals who also care about this problem. The women receive basic needs care, Bible education studies, sessions on gender equality, assertiveness and plan for reintegration into a different community altogether. It is solely run on well wishers and makes a true life and death difference for so many of those women.