Mission & Vision
COMI is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the situation of Central American migrants, within the Mexican context, by offering support in solidarity with each person, in their passage through Oaxaca, Mexico.
Central American migrants should have the right to develop their own lives, emotionally, socially and financially. At COMI we are focused on providing our full attention to migrants in order to better understand their current situation and unique struggles in order to work alongside to help address such issues. We strive to provide assistance in all facets of life, psychological, legal, medical and economic, through our committed community network and through our supportive and sensitive volunteers; with continuous learning and monitoring.
The Migrant Orientation Center of Oaxaca, A.C. (COMI) is a nonprofit organization that was formed on February 2003 as a commission of the Archdiocese of Antequera-Oaxaca to assist the growing numbers of migrants that passed through Oaxaca.
Since the early 2000 there was an increase in migration due to global and regional issues. During this time, Oaxaca lacked any designated space for migrants and thus people stayed in various parishes, bus terminals or were forced to sleep on the streets. Father Fernando Cruz Montes, a local priest in Oaxaca city was gravely concerned and wanted to create an office and a space that would provide necessary services to migrants. Working closely with Susy and Randy Hinthorn, lay missionaries of the congregation of Mariknoll, they worked on making this a reality.
The Migrant Orientation Center of Oaxaca A.C. (COMI), began its functions in 2003 primarily as an office in the Pastoral Center located in García Vigíl 702; Its main objective was to provide guidance to migrants in transit. A year later, the "Casa del Buen Samaritano" shelter opened, which adheres to the goal of providing humanitarian assistance as well as guiding Oaxacan families in the transfer of the bodies of deceased migrants in the United States.
In 2007, COMI began working more in advocacy and defense of migrant rights. In 2010, the governor José Murat, offered several locations for a formal shelter, and the current location was selected for its proximity to the city center and the national bus station. Thus in 2010, COMI expanded their humanitarian assistance capacity by constructing bedrooms, a dining kitchen, and integrating the administrative offices to the building. This is the current location. Additionally, the Search and Location Program for Missing Oaxacan Migrants in the USA was implemented.
Since the formation of COMI we have been dedicated to supporting our brothers and sisters in solidarity and striving to act as the good samaritan. We have been at our current location for a decade, and here we continue to assist migrants by providing a safe shelter, three meals a day, clothing and other materials, various workshops, legal aid, and any other assistance. We are grateful to all of our local and global community for the continued support to ensure a dignified life for migrants.
WILFREDO LEYVA AGUILAR - maintenance and security
Wilfredo is originally from Honduras and is dedicated to receiving all migrants with an open heart and hands. He helps in registration, assigning appropriate accommodation to the newcomers, distribution of materials, and acts as security at the shelter.
FATHER. FERNANDO CRUZ MONTES - DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF COMI A.C.
Fernando is a parish priest from the city of Oaxaca, originally from the Mixtec region of Oaxaca. He is the founder of COMI and is dedicated to the shelter’s future.
ELISA GONZALEZ MORALES - COORDINATOR
Elisa is the coordinator at COMI and works on all aspects of the shelter as well as maintaining a relaxed, secure and fun environment for the team, volunteers, and migrants.
MAYRA LOURDES HERNANDEZ RIVERA - ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY
Mayra is a dedicated team member and helps in all administration tasks by registering migrants, answering phone and emails, assisting migrants in various legal processes and other tasks.
SOCORRO DE JESUS VASQUEZ - COMI Chef
Socorro has been cooking three meals a day at COMI since 2016. She is an innovative chef using mostly donated ingredients to create hardy and tasty meals for our guests.
Dedication. Respect. Transparency. Quality Service. Teamwork. Trust. Solidarity. Responsibility. Honesty. Social Responsibility.
To provide humanitarian aid to migrants in transit and to strengthen and defend their human rights in Oaxaca.