‘This is a time for giving:’ Community members serve hot meals to migrants in San Antonio on Christmas Eve

SAN ANTONIO – Sonya de la Garza Walker said as she was looking around San Pedro on Christmas Eve, she felt sad.

“I cry when I see them,” Walker said. “However, I feel tears of joy. I get tears of joy when I see their smiles of gratitude and happiness.”

The city’s Migrant Resource Center is located on San Pedro. With government officials reporting historic highs for people crossing the Texas-Mexico border this week, San Antonio is seeing the firsthand impacts. On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people waited outside the center. Walker said that’s why she wanted to come out and serve food to those in need.

“There’s hope,” said Walker, who serves as a community organizer with LULAC 4290. “Let’s forget about the ugly rhetoric that we hear. Let’s just all come together and solve this problem that we have.”

Walker and about a dozen other volunteers handed out food, water, clothes and shoes to migrants. She said her goal was to provide a traditional San Antonio dinner, even if the circumstances for these people are anything but.

“I know their journey is not easy for them to have crossed,” Walker said. “These are my people.”

Walker said they had to serve the food across the street from the Migrant Resource Center.

The city’s Migrant Dashboard shows nearly 578,000 migrants arrived in San Antonio over the past two years before traveling to their destinations around the country to await their asylum hearings.

At only 14, Celeste Salazar said she wanted to spend Christmas Eve helping those in need.

“I want to help them as much as I could,” Salazar said. “It makes me want to give them more food, though.”

To read more about happenings this week at the Texas-Mexico border, click here.

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