From Texas Public Radio:
Thousands of asylum seekers in Matamoros, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, don’t have access to clean water. They have to use the Rio Grande for bathing, washing clothes and cooling off from the blistering heat. Migrants have developed skin infections, and some have drowned. But a group of volunteers is trying to make their lives better.
On a recent early fall day, men, women and children splashed in the Rio Grande to cool off from the 90-degree heat.
It was a peaceful scene and very different from what happened a few weeks ago when a teenage Honduran girl nearly drowned. She was bathing in the Rio Grande when the current swept her away.
She was dragged ashore, and dozens of people gathered around as someone tried to resuscitate her. Another asylum-seeker captured the scene in a video provided to Texas Public Radio. Eventually, the girl was revived.
This scene inspired Gaby Zavala to spring into action. She is the founder of the Asylum Seeker Network of Support, an organization that assists asylum seekers.
“We decided to do a temporary solution to this problem so that people don’t have to resort to going to the Rio Grande to access water,” Zavala says. “We decided to start a project where we would get clean water delivered to the place where they’re at.”