del rio haitian arrivals
Lina Santos, sits outside the family-owned Cielito Lindo Motel, which she runs. Santos rented out rooms to Haitian migrants for several weeks. Photo by Leonardo March

Del Rio resident Josue Cordoba first noticed the swelling number of Haitian migrants during one of his many trips across the International Bridge, which connects the U.S. and Mexico, to see his girlfriend, a resident of Ciudad Acuna.

“We’ve been seeing people coming in, families coming in, babies coming in, and for the last six months I’ve been posting [about it] on my Facebook,” Cordoba, 49, said. “I’d give out water, Gatorade, whatever I’ve got, but I’m just one person.” 

While the camp underneath the International Bridge is empty as of Friday, the past week’s events in Del Rio offer a glimpse into what happens when migrants cross into border towns. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at or on Twitter @sambojarski.