Celebrating LGBTI refugees in Mexico

people of lgbti collective refugees at the welcome center Frida House pass the december holidays away from your familywho remained in their country of origin, but with By New one Composed of other users and workers.

He said this in an interview with EFE. cristian andradeDeputy Program Director Integrate LGBT+ From Casa Frida, an organization born in 2020 that welcomes people persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

These dates are somewhat bittersweet because they bring this area of ​​celebration and yes, (at Casa Frida) we are family, but we also leave a lot of things behind,” he explains.

“Many people have to face or, rather, they don’t want to face what can happen at Christmas dinner: when you get together with your whole family and they start to question your identity or orientation. ,” explains Andrade, who emphasizes that this situation results in an increase in requests for assistance.

He assured that requests at the Casa Frida center in Mexico City increase between 20 and 30 percent in December compared to the average, which is also affected by the cold of living on the street and the closure of public institutions on these dates.

Precisely, Livan Ortiz arrived with her husband in December 2022 from her native Cuba to the Casa Frida shelter in Tapachula, on the southern border of Mexico, and remembers those Christmases as “very sad”.

Founder of the organization Mohd. Raul Caporalinvites the couple to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the rest of the team, but various clashes with the police put an end to their desire to party: “Three times they stopped you, which means everything.” Investigating, questioning your documents, violating you, taking your money”.

Nights of good fortune with our community beneficiaries of protection and integration services and programs. Peace, love and freedom, with the pride and dignity of who we are.


Published by Casa Frida on Monday, December 25, 2023

On the other hand, he is spending the current holidays in “a safe space” with his colleagues from Casa Frida, since he has been working as a humanitarian aid and protection coordinator since the middle of the year.

Some “intercultural” festivals

Andrade explained that the team creates an “intercultural” celebration to integrate all users and generate a “family atmosphere”.

Thus, a menu is prepared for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve that is “closest and most connected” to the refugees, as it includes dishes from their countries of origin, and Games and dances are organised.

For Anderson David Mejia, a 21-year-old man originally from Honduras, it ChristmasThe first person, away from home, has a mixture of emotions: he feels “very sad” to not be with his family and at the same time, he thanks Casa Frida for providing a “happy community” that makes him happy. Does.

The story of Russians Vlad and Alex, a couple aged 31 and 37 respectively, took them to Casa Frida, where they are celebrating their first Christmas in December, because in Russia, a country that mostly practices Orthodox Christianity, It is celebrated on 7th January.

“When the war (against Ukraine) started we fled and lived in Turkey for a year. I hope that the situation in our country will improve, but the government started approving many discriminatory laws against the LGBTI community,” says Alex.

They are now considering seeking political asylum in the United States, where they see themselves celebrating next December 24 in an apartment “with a few pets” and wearing “warm pajamas.”

As for next Christmas, I’m already feeling accomplished. Here, in Mexico City, I am accomplishing all my goals,” responded Scarlett Yamilet, a trans woman from Guatemala.

She arrived in the country a few days before Christmas Eve and, in fact, she imagined that she would spend this celebration “on the street, alone”, but in search of a hostel to stay, she discovered Casa Frida. .

The next celebration that Yamilet and her colleagues will experience will be New Year’s Eve, when they will give their best wishes for 2024, surrounded by Kendra’s family.

Yamilet, who has “many plans” for the new year, hopes to get her papers processed and find a job as well as start studying, while Mejia wants to make “the thing that inspires her the most” a reality. : Bring your family to Mexico and enter a soccer team.

With information from EFE

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