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Las Patronas – Historical Women in the Making

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

To highlight historical women in the making, a light must be shed upon a group of women known as Las Patronas (The Patroness).

This group of Mexican women has taken on the most strenuous role in providing for their community.

Las Patronas is a group of twelve women from Guadalupe, Amatlán de los Reyes, in Veracruz. They have taken it upon themselves to feed passing immigrants during their travel through Mexico to the US on a train known as "La Bestia".

“La Bestia,” also known as "The Train of Death,” is a freight train migrants use to get from southern Mexico to the US border when they can’t afford a bus ticket or a smuggler. It's estimated that up to 500,000 migrants ride La Bestia each year, sitting back-to-back along the spine of the train cars, trying not to get knocked off the moving surface.

Since 1995, the group has provided food and assistance to migrants on their way north through Veracruz. Founded by Norma Romero Vazquez and other local women - they wait at the sides of the tracks, with bags of food and bottles of fresh drinking water in hand to offer the passing migrants.

Las Patronas has been nationally recognized in Mexico, with the organization having been awarded the National Human Rights Award and the National Award for Voluntary Action and Solidarity in 2013.

An immigrant’s journey to the US from any country is known to be unfathomably difficult, and these women provide life-saving aid to migrants passing through their community. It’s important to recognize these efforts.

To follow their ongoing journey, you can follow Las Patronas on Instagram.

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