Founder and director of Casa de Luz Tijuana, Irving Mondragón has an outstanding reputation advocating for and supporting LGBTQ migrant community from Central America crossing Mexico towards the United States.
Based in Tijuana, Mexico, Irving has an MA in Documentary Film Studies from Bordeaux University and a BA in Performing Arts from Paris VII, Diderot University. He organized Rainbow 17; the first caravan of trans-gay migrants from Central America; he supported and united the LGBTQ migrant community traveling in the 2018 and 2019 caravans and founded Casa de Luz in Tijuana, a collective house for LGBTQ asylum seekers and migrants.
As the director of Casa de Luz, he started the kitchen program at the border by providing food and basic needs for asylum seekers at El Chaparral camp. His everyday presence at the camp has been invaluable not only for the LGBTQ community, but for all those seeking assylum. Irving has helped hundreds of refugees successfully cross into the United States.
Co-founder and main writer at Linea 84 Collective, ethnographic journalism and community activist. Areli Palomo has a remarkable background and knowledge on Central American migration crossing Mexico towards the US. Based in Oaxaca, Mexico, Areli has an MA in Violence and Migration from UCSD and BA in International Relations from ITAM.
She has reported on regional security policies affecting migration flows on Mexico’s southern border; structural violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador pushing people into migration streams; migrant caravans crossing Mexico to the US and how climate change and environmental degradation push migration flows.
A Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations field researcher, Areli documented and reported first-hand human rights violation cases of Central American migrants crossing Mexico to the US, in dangerous situations. Committed to social justice, Areli pursues activities, initiatives and actions occasioning a public critical understanding on how global political economy engenders migration flows.
Iris, is coming to us from the Netherlands and working is working as an intern at Casa de Luz for three months. She finished her bachelor in Minorities and Multilingualism at the university of Groningen in the Netherlands. After her graduation she traveled for a year and she recently finished her Masters in Human Security at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. She previously lived in Argentina and speaks Spanish.
She has previously worked with refugees in the Netherlands and is passionate about the cause.
During her stay at Casa de Luz she will helping out as much as possible, focusing on teaching English to those interested and help organize the move to the new location.
We are excited to have her!