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MEXICO: Youth and their families access services

Salesian missionaries hold service fair at the Santo Domingo Savio Oratory in Tijuana


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries held a service fair at the Santo Domingo Savio Oratory in Tijuana, Mexico. The oratory is one of six in the Salesian Tijuana Project and located in one of the poorest and most violent neighborhoods of the city. Youth are faced with increased crime including murder and drug trafficking. There is also a lack of access to health and social services.

The civil registry office was at the fair to provide issuance and regularization of birth certificates. There were also medical personnel to provide medical and dental services. In addition, the fair featured crime prevention, activities for children and older youth, welfare programs for people with disabilities and the elderly, land regularization, delivery of trees for reforestation, and access to public services such as water and electricity.

At the event, Father Agustín Novoa Leyva, director of the Tijuana Project, met with Dr. Catalino Zabala, secretary general of the Mexican Baja California state government, to discuss migrants and people in situations of social vulnerability on the border of Mexico and the United States. It was decided that with the support of various government agencies, activities in Salesian centers will bring services closer to the local community and enable the staff of these agencies to better understand the needs of the local population.

Authorities from the secretariats of welfare and security of the State of Baja California, the director of the Faculty of Dentistry of the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), the state chairwoman of the System for Integral Family Development, and the commander of the Tijuana National Guard were also present during these discussions.

In a statement at the fair, Fr. Novoa Leyva said, “Since our objective is to form good Christians and upright citizens, all our activities must take into account the wholeness and spirituality of the human being. This is what motivates us and what drives us to ensure that people, on the one hand, encounter God, the engine and center of our lives, and on the other hand, can also assert their rights within the society in which they live.”

Since 1987, the Tijuana Project has been providing services to migrants and poor youth living on the border between Mexico and the U.S. The goal of the Tijuana Project is to create an extensive educational network in areas where poor youth are at risk of social exclusion. The project took shape through Salesian oratories and educational centers where children grow up learning to share faith, culture and sports within their communities.



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