Officials with the South El Paso organization at the forefront of the Cuban Refugee influx said Friday that hundreds more are expected to arrive in the Borderland over the next two weeks.
Ruben Garcia, the Lead Organizer for Cuban Migrant assistance at Annunciation House confirmed that two planes a day every day – with 300 people aboard – will arrive until our area reaches the 4,000 person mark.
Officials with the Diocese of El Paso and the shelters compare the influx of people to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the Sun City was home to thousands of New Orleans residents fleeing the disaster zone in 2005.
According to the Diocese, while the occupancy of the shelters are starting to max out, the good news is that the turnover of migrants is moving swiftly. Most Cubans are staying in El Paso about 2 days before they leave for another destination.
Officials add that the shelters are in need of reliable volunteers for this weekend and beyond. The volunteers could be called on to do everything from making sandwiches to changing beds for the next group of people coming through.
Meanwhile, the high demand continues for personal hygiene products – toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, diapers, and feminine products. Those Borderland residents who wish to donate these items, they can be dropped off at the Houchen Center at 609 Tays or Annunication House at 1003 E. San Antonio .
Additionally, the Diocese Office is getting many calls from residents who wish to purchase bus tickets for the refugees. Officials say that the Houchen Center is working with Tornado Bus Line to purchase discounted tickets for the refugees.
El Pasoans wanting to buy bus tickets directly can do so by writing a check to the Diocese of El Paso and designating the check as being for Cuban refugee relief. The Diocese then turns that money over immediately to Houchen personnel, who know the names of the refugees and can purchase the tickets on their behalf.
For more info on volunteering, product drop-off and bus tickets, we ask that you call Annunication House at 915-545-4509. Donations can also be sent via PayPal to CommunityCenter@Houchen.org https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/send-money-online
To read our previous coverage, Click HERE.