More than 350 participants ran for refugees at UNAM

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A five kilometer athletic race was organized this Saturday, as part of the event “Together for tolerance – Running for refugees”, in it Roberto Tapatío Méndez Stadium of University City (UNAM).

It took place for the second consecutive year, organized in conjunction with the National School of Social Work (ENTS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

At 9 in the morning, the last runners arrived, under a radiant sun, and a completely blue sky. inside thempeople of both sexes, of all ages and of various origins. The shouts and applause of the organizers could be heard for all the athletes of the day in this road that is not competitive, but symbolic.

Students from UNAM, mothers with their children, refugee groupsgrandparents... Everyone was happy to participate in this race, carrying the UNHCR t-shirt.

This race came on the occasion of fiftieth birthday of the National School of Social Work. The chosen period is also symbolic, the race took place two days after October 19, national day against discrimination.

Gerardo Talaverahead of the association 'Refugee House Program' (PCR), commented that the event was free thanks to “a sum of collaborations.”

Our main donor is UNHCR, which offered the t-shirts, and the Jesuit Refugee Service cooperated with the water. The Bioflor company added honey to reduce sugar consumption.

The ENTS did the entire administrative process of the field, to request the facilities... The people who study at the university supported us by making the route. We put the medals and offered lunch.

Norma Morales Ortegahead of the ENTS Professional Studies Division, commented that she was surprised by the speed with which registrations were sold out.

We were surprised because two days after publication, we had to close it, because the quota reached the limit. We initially had a quota of 300, but we had to open it to 350. We were very surprised that society in general is joining these things.

The ENTS, among others, it is directed towards people from civil society, but also directly to refugeesto help them getting a job, fill out applicationsand know the coins and denominations. In fact, their goal was also for refugees to participate in the race.

The idea was that the call reached the shelters. We have a tennis and clothing drive so that people who do not have sports accessories can participate.

The event is part of the dissemination of broader knowledge about migration within the university. This theme is part of study plans of racing in social Sciences. Permanent seminars on the topic take place, one was organized 2 years ago on the situation in Afghanistan.

This issue is “the” issue: it has economic, social, political, and cultural implications. Our country is transit, receiver, and expeller.

This race was organized with the idea of promote coexistence among alland raise awareness about the issue of people in situations of forced mobility. Alma Delia Cruzhead of university management and volunteer for the 'Refugee House Program', explains:

Sport promotes values ​​such as solidarity, equality... The moment in which we perceive ourselves as equal to the other, we put aside all that series of prejudices that exist and that conflict with this coexistence that should occur in a harmonious way.

A vision confirmed by Frankemployee of Refugee House for 5 years, and present in the race to help the organization. Is Cameroonianand it arrived 7 years ago as a refugee in Mexico.

Sport unites, and allows you to meet more people. Those who arrive at Casa Refugiados arrive in an unknown country. Sport helps to socialize. This event lets non-refugees know that they are not a threat, and also deserve the same right as anyone else.

Indeed, sport united on this Saturday. Refugees from the American continentthat have accommodation in Mexico Citywere present.

One of them is Colombian. After a journey of one month and fifteen dayswhere he had to work, become take money from the policeand cross borders in trucks and raftsarrived in Mexico in July.

I am waiting for an appointment to advance to the United States. At the end of my appointment, I hope to be able to go there, to the name of God. I would like to study a sport, like soccer, and work in construction.

He sport is part of your daily life. In the morning, she offers her help for the house that welcomes him. In the afternoon, she de-energizes herself by playing sports.

I'm always practicing, I'm never calm. I like to do several sports: soccer, baseball, and basketball. I like all sports, but I practice the ones I understand.

This young man was accompanied by other refugees: Venezuelans, Salvadorans, Haitians, and Hondurans. A group of three Venezuelans did not hesitate to climb the podium to take photos and celebrate this shared moment.

We had the opportunity to come here in CDMX, we are grateful for this race. One of our privileges is to compete and help other refugees who are throughout Mexican territory.

One of them joked about the dangerous and exhausting journey that it got.

We made a 20-day journey from Venezuela. Crossing the river, sleeping on the street... Now that's a marathon. But I don't recommend it to anyone

When they went home, they left with the fixed hope of be able to move even further north, to find a life with opportunities in USA.

Meanwhile the race will know a new edition in 2024to follow the sensitizationand the fight against rejection and xenophobia.

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