Fleeing immigrant families seek refuge at Catholic Charities

Yolanda Sanchez and her son, 16, left El Salvador to escape the violence.


MCALLEN, Texas – Yolanda Sanchez and her son, 16, left El Salvador to escape the violence.

Sanchez says she left to protect her son after he became the target of death threats. "They threatened to kill him. They said they (would) mutilate him," Sanchez said.

Together they endured a month’s travel through jungles, navigating the path of dangerous smugglers.

"We crossed rivers, we walked and had to eat bugs," said Sanchez.

Sanchez was finally able to let her guard down when she arrived on our border and reached Sacred Heart Church in McAllen.

Sister Norma Pimentel is the executive director of Catholic Charities. She and countless volunteers provide food, clothing even directions to undocumented immigrants on their final destination inside the U.S.

"When they arrive to our border and here they find themselves in this country. They are in great need of help and so just help that any human being deserves to have," she said.

Pimentel says the number of immigrants coming to the country has dropped since last year.  But she still helps close to a hundred undocumented families a day.

"The majority are from Central America, whether it’s El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala but they also come from many other countries as well. We've had over 35 to 45 different countries," said Pimentel.

It's a blessing this mother and son don't take for granted as they travel to be with family in Maryland.

"This is something I'll hold in my heart and I will never forget it," said Sanchez.