Refugee Stories: Jesus Castro

The plight of refugees and migrants from South America grows more drastic and their fate more uncertain. Refugee Stories are testimonies from children, adults, and families, gathered by the Salvadorean Lutheran Church, our companion synod in El Salvador, and CARECEN, an organization working to change the immigration system, win legal status for immigrants, and foster community activism. These stories are a tool and a witness for Refugee and Migrant Sunday and beyond; please share them with your congregations and ministries.

20-year old Jesus Castro is from La Ceiba, Honduras, and first fled gang violence when he was 14 years old. In Honduras, he lived on the border between two gang territories. Fleeing death threats and gang recruitment, he became an internally displaced person in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in 2010.

In 2012, the gangs in San Pedro Sula threatened him and almost killed him. He fled through Mexico to the United States, where he was granted a temporary visa. He returned to Honduras, where gangs again set upon him, beating him and burning his arms. He again fled to Mexico, where he witnessed the rape and murder of a woman.

In Mexico he was interdicted and detained, forced to live in dangerous proximity to gang members. Officials never explained his rights to him, and he was consequently prevented from applying for protection. From Mexico he was deported to Honduras, placing him in grave danger from gangs. When he fled once again to Mexico, Zetas Cartel members kidnapped and physically and sexually abused him.

Eventually he escaped, but Mexican authorities arrested and deported him yet again. Again, he fled, this time succeeding in reaching the United States, which deported him to Mexico. He now stays at a migrant shelter in Veracruz.


Refugee Stories 

Refugee and Migrant Sunday Resources

Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service (LIRS) Refugee Sunday Resources 

Guardian Angels Website

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