By migrant women for migrant women
In Mexico, migrant and refugee women support one another in settling into a new country.
The organisation Caminantas provides support for migrant and refugee women in Mexico. At Caminantas, they are supported by women with similar experiences to their own. For example, they swap tips about which employers are hiring migrants or how Mexico recognises foreign academic titles.
Founders Marcela Pérez, Mariángel Vielma and Laura Cortés only arrived in Mexico a few years ago themselves. They know how difficult it is to gain a foothold in a new country. As Laura Cortés explains: ‘It’s awful to be here without any information or work. We realised that it’s very important to support these women so that they don’t feel alone.’ At Caminantas, women therefore also receive emotional support and can talk to professional therapists about their experiences.
The reasons why people go to Mexico are very varied: some are escaping violence, human rights violations, poverty or the impacts of climate change. More than 118,000 people sought refuge in Mexico in 2022 alone. Others migrate to study or get married – or for work.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH works closely with local organisations like Caminantas. The aim is to strengthen the organisations on the ground so that they can reach more people. Caminantas teamed up with GIZ to develop guidelines on how migrants can work in Mexico. In the guide, migrants can find information that is otherwise difficult to access; for example, how to apply for a work permit or what steps they need to take to set up a business.
Support for 14,000 refugees
The joint project run by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and GIZ has reached more than 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Mexico so far. The organisations have been working together since 2019 to improve the local integration of refugees, with the aim of facilitating their economic, social and cultural participation.