DENVER (CBS4) – Donations are pouring in to help dozens of refugees who made their way to Denver. They are part of a large group fleeing Central America that has been overwhelming humanitarian organizations in Texas and New Mexico.
The surge has been the center of a political debate for months, but three churches are putting politics aside to help.
Saturino Escalante and his son have had a long journey from their home in Guatemala.
“We walked a lot. We did not sleep. We did not eat sometimes,” Escalante said through a translator.
He chose to leave everything behind to come to the U.S. seeking asylum.
“Because in Guatemala the crime is really bad,” he said.
When the number of families in need became too much for groups aiding them along the border, organizations in Denver were asked to help.
Pastor Michael Hidalgo with Denver Community Church says they opened their doors to 23 of 55 refugees.
“Those 23 people represent 10 separate family groups’ moms and dads and kids,” he said.
Hidalgo says their arrival was met with an outpouring of support from the community.
People almost immediately started donating food, water, clothing and time all with the goal of getting refugees reunited with family already here in the U.S.
“They’ve been deeply grateful a mom and her two girls were reunited with her brother who lives in the Denver area to be part of that,” Hidalgo said.
Those feelings of gratefulness are feelings Escalante and his son echoed.
“Thank God the Denver community has been welcoming. God will show blessings to the people that have helped us,” he said.
While the city did not have a role in getting families to Denver, the mayor and the governor have both said they support what the organizations are doing.