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Play Spaces For Migrant Children Sprouting In Tijuana

Play Spaces for Migrant Children Sprouting in Tijuana

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The lives of migrants trapped on the Southern side of the border, many waiting for asylum hearings in the U.S. months and perhaps years ahead, are brutally difficult. It’s hard – and in some ways feels like dishonest optimism – to see the bright spots, but they do exist.

The San Diego Tribune reports on the second “Nest” learning and play space for migrant children opening up this past week in the Little Haiti neighborhood in Tijuana.

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The Pedagogical Institute of Los Angeles is funding and building out the Nests, including the new site at the La Iglesia de los Embajadores de Jesús shelter in Tijuana.

From the Tribune:

“We feel like every child deserves the right to not only an education, but a beautiful space that inspires curiosity and wonder,” said Lindsay Weissert, the chief operating officer of Pedagogical Institute of Los Angeles that runs the Nests.


Photo credit: San Diego Tribune

“We hear children ask: ‘Why is it so beautiful?’ and we say ‘Because you deserve it,’” she said.

This one is named the Canyon Nest and is the second the Pedagogical Institute of Los Angeles has opened in Tijuana, and the fifth to open worldwide.

The Tijuana daycare centers are specifically aimed at serving children, age 6 and under, stuck at the border while waiting to seek asylum in the United States.

Some have been sent back to Mexico under the controversial “Remain in Mexico” program and others are waiting months on an unofficial wait list to make an initial asylum claim.

“We were aware that there are 37 shelters in Tijuana and none of them really have any comprehensive education programs for the children,” said Weissert.

Weissert said the nonprofit brings in international volunteers called Nesters to teach the children, but it also trains local educators.

The full San Diego Tribune article is here:

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