26-year-old Paula invited a refugee into her home. She met 36-year-old Darwin when she was volunteering at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Darwin and his friend walked in, they were out of breath, they were visibly nervous, stressed out, and I heard them, you know, share their story with some of the lawyers there,” she said. “They were just sitting in, like, this very tiny, makeshift waiting area for the entire day, and, you know, I think they might have shared their story a couple of times, and I felt their energy from across the room.”
Darwin had fled from Honduras seeking asylum in the U.S. He spent six months living in a detention center in California before he met Paula.
“I was looking for a sponsor [for Darwin] cause ideally, like, you know we might not have the capacity to sponsor someone, but I couldn’t find anyone to sponsor him, and he was experiencing some extreme violence in Adelanto, so then I just was like, ‘ok, Dad can we make this happen?’” she explained. “My dad, you know, gave the green light.”
Darwin continues to live in Paula’s guest house as his immigration status is pending.
“If I, as an adult, left traumatized from [the detention center]—there are thousands of children being detained currently, and this is what worries me,” he said.