In Mexico and Central America, Christmas season means celebrating and sharing tamales and champurrado, a hot chocolate atole, or pre-Columbian drink based in masa and cacao. These treats can be found during nightly neighborhood posadas, a Christmas ritual that re-enacts Mary and Joseph's search for lodging in Bethlehem.
To symbolize this journey, members of the Durham immigrant community are hosting a posada in support of refugee and immigrant families on Tuesday evening at Cocoa Cinnamon
(Hillsborough Road location).
The money raised will benefit Alerta Migratoria NC
, a community hotline and platform created as a result of the raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since January 2016.
"At a time when the act of crossing a border in search of a better life has become so politicized, we hope this will serve to remind our community of the faces of the immigrant struggle, of those searching for a home here in North Carolina," says Viridiana Martinez, an undocumented immigrant and an activist since 2010. She helped launch Alerta Migratoria after ICE raids on local Central American refugee families.
Alerta Migratoria NC, with the support of Durham teachers, led the campaign that helped release Wildin David Guillen Acosta from immigrant detention.
Alerta Migratoria worked on the cases of six detained youth in North Carolina this year. The group stopped the deportation of four immigrant youth in North Carolina, including Riverside High School student Wildin David Guillen Acosta, who was released in August. He was detained for the six months before ICE, under mounting political and community pressure, released him on a $10,000 bond.
Martinez says that their hotline receives constant calls from all over the country from families looking for resources and support. The group works with a network of legal advisors and serve as community liaisons. The event will raise money for their work, which is currently unfunded.
The event at Cocoa Cinnamon begins at 7 p.m., with tamales, pan dulce, champurrado, singing, and more until 10 p.m.