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Local Peace Economy: Community Needs in Tijuana

15 December 2018


001C89B7-E8F3-40F1-B06D-C1187A941ED1.jpegBy Kelly Curry

Enclave Caracol a feminist bookstore, is acting as the central hub for the folks coming in seeking asylum. Here there is coffee, food, charging for phones, ipads, computers and a place to sit and collect oneself...all for community and the asylum seekers and all for free.

Al Otro Lado( is running its operation out of the upper floors of Enclave and providing legal support which entails going to the encampments where asylum seekers are gathered and living -daily- and supporting with organization around keeping them in line for crossing the border.

Lado part of a dynamic network of orgs supporting the organization of “safe houses” (LA LGBT Center; RAICES;The Santa Fe Dreamers Project; Immigration Equality; and more)  for those who are in special need of support, vulnerable either because of being targeted by the government/right wing/anti-”caravan”groups/gangs or because of age/health status…pregnancy.

There is a seperate set of needs for the safe houses.

There are LGBTQ safe houses, teen safe houses and safe houses for families and elders with special needs. Michael who has legal background is the contact person for the LGBTQ safe houses, contact [email protected] if you want his info in order to offer support and or resources.

There is a serious need for social workers/healers/home makers and people who can make the homes feel safe, comfortable AND do workshops in preparation for the road ahead (detention centers) or get support and treatment for what has happened. At this point, the attorneys are acting in this position and it’s taking them from the frontlines of supporting the asylum seekers out in the streets and pouring in everyday.

An additional system of organizing safe house support would be ideal and is do-able.

FYI at Enclave Caracol, Food and Legal are seperate.

As of 12/15/18 here are the needs stated by orgs working at Enclave Caracol:

We need volunteers that can organize meals, transportation of donations, and help with security/door here at the building. We need tech help, plumbing/construction help, we have too many donations in the building and not enough support transporting them to barretal and other shelters. We are receiving people all day that are looking for food, water, coffee, legal support, a safe place to sit down, clothes, blankets, a chance to charge a cell phone, medical attention, dental care, bathroom...all things that can be organized, but we are constantly being forced to negate these things because the very few volunteers here are completely overwhelmed.

We can provide crash course training on what has worked and what hasn't worked, but we need folks that can connect resources to needs without relying on direction from organizers.

Folks trained in first responding in situations like the “caravan” folks with common sense in organizing healing and comfort for folks moving through trauma...scenarios like this, is really needed.

Because thousands of people are sitting around all day literally waiting around, seems like an awesome opportunity for artists and organizers to go in as groups and support with education, healing, art, music, workshops...anything that will engage people in feeling better, more hopeful and address needs.

There is also a need for folks with vehicles to help transport food, clothing, items that are coming in but not getting around because there is a limited number of vehicles.

Mature kitchen help, as well as folks who can support systems around organization of spaces and how best to utilize space, would also be helpful.

There is capacity to use Enclave as a base for mobile kitchen operations, ie setting up mobile kitchen stands at the several shelters/open-air encampments around the city, but some person/group/org would need to organize this with Nacho and Chris, who are the points of contact for food operations at this site.

As of 12/15/18 here is a list of the shelters and encampments and areas that need support:

  • Enclave Caracol Calle Primera 8250, Zona Nte., 22127 Tijuana, B.C., México
  • Barretal Av. las Torres 41, Matamoros Norte-Centro-Sur, Desarrollo Urbanoejido Matamoros, Tijuana, B.C., México
  • Casa YMCA Programa YMCA de Desarrollo Comunitario y Asistencia Social, A.C., Boulevard Cuauhtemoc Sur, Madero Sur, Tijuana, B.C., México
  • Benito Juárez 5 de Mayo y o Av. F 233, Zona Nte., Tijuana, B.C., México
  • Chaparral Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C., México
  • Job fair Av. Venustiano Carranza 6250, Castillo, 22050 Tijuana, B.C., México


Because the government is charging folks for items sent and is blocking aid at this point, one way to get resources to Tijuana is to send a rep from your community and have them buy what is needed.

There are ten pesos to every dollar, and it is better for the local peace economy to have the monies coming in and moving through.

Another option is to create a registry with the folks at various safe houses or engaged with Enclave and engage pickups from the stores that are in that area. They include Walmart and others...Another option is to send someone down with gift cards-loaded up and distribute them. This way people can buy their own stuff...feel a little less crazy.


  • Both take US 501c-3 $$$
  • Sanctuary Caravan
  • Al Otro Lodo
  • Enclave Caracol (for food)


  • Stay at Airbnb they are about $25. A night
  • Monthly rentals are cheaper...if you are organizing a group that will be sending folks down on a rolling basis.

Read more about how you can support the situation at our nation’s borders here.

Kelly Curry is CODEPINK’s Local Peace Economy Organizer and can be reached at [email protected].