El Camino del Inmigrante to highlight struggles of immigrants


By Esteban Garcia

Bread for the World is collaborating with the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), World Vision, World Relief, and others to stage a pilgrimage walk in Southern California to raise the issue of immigration during the election season.

El Camino del Inmigrante (The Path of the Immigrant) will begin tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 20) at the U.S.-Mexico border at Tijuana and culminate in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 30. On the days between, the walk will snake through the southernmost counties of California. The pilgrimage will demonstrate Bread’s solidarity with undocumented immigrants, many of whom face hunger and other perils every day.

Bishop José García, Bread’s director of church relations, will be among the 150 walkers participating in El Camino.

“Immigrants continue to make significant contributions to our economy,” García said. “Yet these same immigrants, especially those without documentation, suffer from among the highest rates of hunger in our country.”

Along the 150-mile path, several events will give walkers an opportunity to rest and reflect on their journeys. In additional to nightly dinners and debriefs, Bread will be organizing a rally on Aug. 26 in Costa Mesa, Calif., in the heart of Orange County, where García will address walkers and other guests.

The chosen route reflects the one that many immigrants are forced to take when faced with extreme hunger and poverty in their countries of origin. However, even when they have reached the U.S., serious barriers prevent them from obtaining jobs that allow them to adequately provide the nourishing food that their families need.

Currently, there are 4.5 million children living in households with at least one undocumented parent in the U.S. These children are twice as likely to live with poverty or hunger. In addition to high levels of food insecurity, many children of immigrants without employment benefits do not have access to health care, an essential need during the formative years of life.

In addition to facing hunger and food insecurity here in the U.S., many families are separated from one another. Children are either sent away alone from their home countries or live apart from one parent. These arrangements often compound the problem of limited access to resources and opportunities.

The pilgrimage will conclude in front of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles with an event designed to highlight the unjust practices that allow mass incarceration to continue. When parents are imprisoned, absent from the home, and unable to earn an income, access to life-giving food becomes even more precarious.

Registration is now closed for the pilgrimage walk. However, you can still get involved by joining:

The Crossing Church
2115 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Aug. 26
7:00 p.m. PDT


Culminating event
Metropolitan Detention Center
535 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Aug. 30
11:00 a.m.

Follow Bread’s participation on Facebook (English) and (Spanish) and Twitter (English) or (Spanish) and Bread Blog.

Esteban Garcia is media relations specialist for Bread for the World.

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