Skip to main content

Learning Space For Child Migrants Expands In Tijuana And Other Local News

Cover image for podcast episode

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, February 4th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up, learning space for child migrants expands in Tijuana and we'll hear from a candidate for San Diego mayor who likes to talk about her time not spent in politics and honestly we're not going to solve our problems like homelessness and housing with a politics as usual culture and I'm running to change that culture that more coming up right after the break

Speaker 2: 00:36 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 00:36 hundreds of children from around the world are living in migrant shelters in Tijuana. They're waiting with their parents for a chance to claim asylum in the U S now KPBS reporter max [inaudible] tells us a few of those children will have a chance to play and learn into new places, especially designed to help them grow during a time when their future is uncertain.

Speaker 3: 01:02 Every day at eight 30 the doors open at a space called the nest, where kids from the ages of zero to six are able to play, paint and build. There's a set of tubes they could build into fantastic shapes and send marbles tumbling through them. Light boards. They can decorate with translucent shapes and clay. They can pound into any form they choose. Each day begins with a song.

Speaker 4: 01:23 Yeah.

Speaker 3: 01:30 Then the children go off to different stations supervised by volunteers like hundreds of other migrant children in Tijuana. They're trying to make it to the United States to claim asylum with their parents. Some have been sent back to wait and Mexico under the remain in Mexico program while others are waiting to be admitted to the U S to claim asylum. After waiting on an unofficial list for months. The nest helps give them a routine, some smiling faces and a place to be kids says at least Ivy who founded the space,

Speaker 4: 02:01 so, but the idea is to create a space where children who have been displaced and dragged across borders can have a place where they can just be where they can heal.

Speaker 3: 02:13 The nest in Tijuana, which opened in September is one of four other spaces for refugees that Ivy has helped open with the pedagogical Institute of Los Angeles. The nest sits across from the [inaudible] shelter, which is where the children live for anywhere between two to five months as they wait to claim asylum. Family share a bed in the overcrowded shelter which receives no support from the Mexican government. The courtyard is filled with dry and clothes and children are left to entertain themselves in a small and chaotic courtyard. Parents there say the nest gives their children the opportunity to play in a safe space and gives them some time to themselves. Susanna Volos Torres 18 is from the Choa con. She fled last year with her two children after her husband disappeared and she received violent threats. Her three year old daughter Daniella attends the nest, which she describes as beautiful

Speaker 4: 03:07 [inaudible].

Speaker 3: 03:08 Not only does it help her daughter, Susanna explains, but it gives her time to help around the shelter.

Speaker 4: 03:16 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 03:17 she says she gets to work in the communal kitchen or to help clean up the shelter while the kids are occupied. The center isn't only helping occupied the youngest migrants. 17 year old Anna Modaris chief pres is also from ancho con. She fled political violence with her parents and her two siblings. She's been volunteering at the nest for three weeks, helping the younger children play and learn.

Speaker 4: 03:40 [inaudible] [inaudible].

Speaker 3: 03:43 She says it helps her relax by getting to laugh with the kids during the day. She plans on becoming a teacher when she gets to the United States. Right now the nest across from the cadet to shelter serves around 30 children a day. This month its organizers plan on opening a second location in Tijuana and a Canyon that houses the in Baja daughters that hazy shelter, which is one of the most isolated shelters in the city. It houses mostly central American migrants who have been returned to Mexico through the remain Mexico program. It's also near little Haiti where dozens of Haitians have settled while they decide whether to enter the U S

Speaker 4: 04:20 well. There are so many children living in these shelters and they're stuck on mattresses all day long. There's nothing for them and we know that this is a time of enormous brain development.

Speaker 3: 04:30 Ivy leads us on a tour of the new space, which aims to serve 50 children a day. The conditions in the Canyon are extreme open sewage and burning trash, safe space with roosters and farm animals just a mile from the U S border. It's still the goal remains to create a space for children to have room to dream. Ivy is still fundraising to operate the space and is holding an open house next week for volunteers North of the border who want to get involved in to Quana and accident an Adler. Hey, PBS news,

Speaker 1: 05:03 California's March 3rd primary is still a month away, but voting starts this week. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says, absentee ballots will soon be arriving in mailboxes.

Speaker 3: 05:14 Thanks to a 2018 state law. You don't need to put a stamp on your ballots. Return envelope and San Diego County registrar voters, Michael WGU says, well, some voters like to hand deliver their ballots on election day, so they get those little, I voted stickers this year. They'll come in the mail now. There are no excuses. You will have it. The I voted sticker inside your mail bell package in between that as well as the return envelope. It's really simple for a voter to get their ballot back to our office. If you're registered no party preference and want to vote in the democratic presidential primary, you should have specifically requested the democratic ballot. If the wrong one arrives, you can always exchange it@theregistrarvotersinkearnymesaorgotosdvote.com

Speaker 5: 05:59 Andrew Bowen, KPBS Marine Corps

Speaker 1: 06:02 air station Miramar is expected to be one of four military sites used to quarantine people arriving from China. KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh says people may begin arriving in the next few days.

Speaker 5: 06:15 It was announced over the weekend that a military sites in San Diego, Texas, Colorado, along with Travis air force base in Northern California would be used to house passengers from China for at least two weeks under the agreement with the secretary of defense, the military agreed to house up to a thousand people who have at least some potential risk of contracting the coronavirus. Having been in China, Miramar was elected because it was one of four sites with space enough to accommodate at least 250 people. Many of the details are still being worked out. Passengers will be provided food, water, lodging, and receive medical care if necessary. No one has arrived at this point. Last week, 195 people were taking to Marsh air reserve base in Riverside, California. Steve Walsh KPBS news

Speaker 1: 07:02 a year after PG and he filed for bankruptcy. A state lawmaker would like California to take over the utility cap radios as were David Romero reports.

Speaker 6: 07:12 The idea is to use eminent domain as a tool to force PG and E stock holders to sell shares to the state. Democratic Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would establish the Northern California energy utility district. Maybe we'll put an end to the dangerous roller coaster ride that we had been on with PGD over the past decade. Wiener says bonds could be one way to pay for the switchover. The new state run utility would be modeled after a long Island power authority in New York. It would be overseen by leadership appointed by the governor. Upper management would be state workers and everyone else would be employed by a public benefit. Corporation. Wiener says that should be a relief for many of the companies. 24,000 workers worried about pensions and benefits since they won't directly be state workers in Sacramento. I'm Ezra David Romero.

Speaker 1: 08:02 A widely studied species of algae could be a helpful nutritional food that alleviates human gut problems. KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Celani spoke to UC San Diego scientists about their findings on this green plant, published in a peer reviewed journal,

Speaker 6: 08:23 large beakers, slush, algae water back and forth, the top shake tables and tidy UC San Diego lab. This helps mix the algae so that we can get more carbon dioxide in there and allow the cells to grow faster. UC San Diego scientists, Frank Fields looked at one species of algae grown in here, Clomid and Mona's rain Hardy. It's been widely studied and used in products like medicines, but until now not studied as a potential food. What we found in both the case of the mice and our human volunteers is that they both improved in terms of their gastrointestinal function. Over time as they were eating this algae, UCS G researchers had already tested on mice with gut problems and the algae helped, so they asked a sample of about 50 people to eat this algae in powder form every day for a month. Other forms of algae can be found in nutritional stores, but this specific species is new to the health worlds fields as the company making this algae product is hoping to do a followup study. [inaudible]

Speaker 6: 09:18 key PBS news, insects in California are at the Vanguard of becoming protected under the state's endangered species list cap radios. As David Romero reports, it's all thanks to declining numbers of bumblebees. Four species of California native bumblebees are candidates to become the first insects on the list, but there's a looming question that play. Can they even be listed? Kim Delphino with a group defenders of wildlife says yes, just like the federal endangered species list, does the little critters like bees are critical to our food supply should also merit protection, but agricultural groups are suing to stop the listings. They say insects aren't eligible. Listing the bees would restrict where farmers can place honey. Beehives says Noel Kramer's, she's a senior policy analyst for the California farm Bureau Federation. Almond farmers depend on about 2 million honeybee hives coming into California to pollinate the almond crop. And so if we limit where we can put them, that could have a really significant impact on our farming.

Speaker 6: 10:21 But UC Berkeley's Steven by singer says reports that pollinators are declining globally by 40% should factor into the state's decision. These little guys have been reduced in population size so much that they are now highly threatened with extinction. A final decision on the bees being protected under the California endangered species act could come later this summer in Sacramento, I measured David Romero. Hundreds of children from around the world are living in migrant shelters in Tijuana. They're waiting with their parents for a chance to claim asylum in the U S now KPBS reporter max rule. The natter tells us a few of those children will have a chance to play and learn into new places, especially designed to help them grow during a time when their future is uncertain.

Speaker 3: 11:12 Every day at eight 30 the doors open at a space called the nest, where kids from the ages of zero to six are able to play, paint and build. There's a set of tubes they could build into fantastic shapes and said marbles tumbling through them. Light boards, they can decorate with translucent shapes and clay. They can pound into any form they choose. Each day begins with a song

Speaker 7: 11:37 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 11:40 then the children go off to different stations supervised by volunteers like hundreds of other migrant children in Tijuana. They're trying to make it to the United States to claim asylum with their parents. Some have been sent back to wait and Mexico under the remain in Mexico program, while others are waiting to be admitted to the U S to claim asylum. After waiting on an unofficial list for months, the nest helps give them a routine, some smiling faces and a place to be kids says at least Ivy who founded the [inaudible].

Speaker 4: 12:11 So, but the idea is to create a space where children who have been displaced and dragged across borders can have a place where they can just be where they can heal.

Speaker 3: 12:23 The nest in Tijuana, which opened in September is one of four other spaces for refugees that Ivy has helped open with the pedagogical Institute of Los Angeles. The nest sits across from the [inaudible] shelter, which is where the children live for anywhere between two to five months as they wait to claim asylum. Family share a bed in the overcrowded shelter which receives no support from the Mexican government. The courtyard is filled with dry and clothes and children are left to entertain themselves in a small and chaotic courtyard. Parents there say the nest gives their children the opportunity to play in a safe space and gives them some time to themselves. Susanna Avalos, Torres 18 is from the Choa con. She fled last year with her two children after her husband disappeared and she received violent threats. Her three year old daughter Daniella attends the nest, which she describes as beautiful

Speaker 4: 13:17 [inaudible].

Speaker 3: 13:18 Not only does it help her daughter, Susanna explains, but it gives her time to help around the shelter

Speaker 4: 13:27 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 13:28 communal kitchen or to help clean up the shelter while the kids are occupied. The center isn't only helping occupied the youngest migrants. 17 year old Anna Modaris. Chief Perez is also from Choa con. She fled political violence with her parents and her two siblings. She's been volunteering at the nest for three weeks, helping the younger children play and learn.

Speaker 4: 13:50 [inaudible] [inaudible].

Speaker 3: 13:53 She says it helps her relax by getting to laugh with the kids during the day. She plans on becoming a teacher when she gets to the United States. Right now, the nest across from the cadet to shelter serves around 30 children a day. This month. It's organizers plan on opening a second location in Tijuana and a Canyon that houses the in Baja daughters. The hazy shelter, which is one of the most isolated shelters in the city. It houses mostly central American migrants who have been returned to Mexico through the remain in Mexico program. It's also near little Haiti where dozens of Haitians have settled while they decide whether to enter the U S

Speaker 4: 14:30 well. There are so many children living in these shelters and they're stuck on mattresses all day long. There's nothing for them and we know that this is a time of enormous brain development.

Speaker 3: 14:41 Ivy leads us on a tour of the new space which aims to serve 50 children a day. The conditions in the Canyon are extreme open sewage burning trash, safe space with roosters and farm animals just a mile from the U S border. It's still the goal remains to create a space for children to have room to dream. Ivy is still fundraising to operate the space and is holding an open house next week for volunteers North of the border who want to get involved in Tijuana and actually from an Adler, Kate PBS news

Speaker 8: 15:13 council woman, Barbara Bree who represents district one is running for San Diego mayor with election day only about a month away and mail in ballots going out this week, KPBS is speaking with the top four candidates for San Diego. Mayor Bree, a Democrat told KPBS mid additional host, Maureen Cavenaugh. She's not a career politician and ran for public office in 2016 and I got to city hall and quite frankly what I found was a mess, a culture of no accountability and no transparency. I stood up to it immediately. I oppose the soccer city land grab. I demanded an independent audit of the water department and I could go into more detail later on the one Oh one Ash street, a fiasco, the purchase of the former Sempra headquarters by the city council, uh, before I arrived. And, and honestly, we're not going to solve our problems like homelessness and housing with a politics as usual culture.

Speaker 8: 16:10 And I'm running to change that culture and to bring real management and leadership experience to the role of being a strong mayor for the city of San Diego. And how would you handle what is one of San Diego's major concerns? The issue of homelessness in the city? I think we have to start by addressing the root causes by acknowledging that housing first has failed. All the root causes in many cases are mental health and substance abuse issues. And just giving someone a place to live if we don't address the root causes is not going to be successful. We've already seen that in the data that many people to whom we do give a place to live, end up back on the street within a matter of months or a year because we have not addressed the root causes. The key is addressing each person as an individual. And some a woman who's leaving an abused marriage may need a house up home place to live right away.

Speaker 8: 17:04 Uh, someone with a mental health issues needs help resolving that. And if someone breaks the law, we need to enforce. The city council has said for several years now that the city is in a housing crisis for both low income and affordable middle-class housing. What's your plan for fixing that? So I think that gets back to one of my major priorities, which is protecting the quality of our neighborhoods. And um, right now we have 16,000 single family homes that are off the market that are being used as short term vacation rentals at a time. As you noted, we have a housing shortage and that's 3% of our housing stock, so on day one I will start by enforcing our existing municipal code which prohibits them in residential. As a council member I have supported increased density along transit. I have voted by right to add the ability to for 45,000 additional housing units and I will continue to do that.

Speaker 8: 18:02 In addition, I believe home ownership is a missing piece and that's how most people build up wealth and I am going to be advocating for a statewide housing bond that will provide first time home buyers with closing costs and down payment assistance if they buy in a transit priority area. Now let's talk about the transition San Diego needs to make from total reliance on cars to public transportation and bikes. If we're going to meet the goals of the climate action plan, do you have though the commitment to the climate action goals to make hard, unpopular choices? If you have to. I've already demonstrated that I will make hard choices. At city hall. I was the first elected official to oppose soccer city. I remember it was supported by Kevin Faulkner, a very popular mayor at the time. I was the first elected official. I was out there by myself.

Speaker 8: 18:53 Soccer city ran tens of thousands of dollars of ads on social media criticizing me. I will make decisions that are in the best interests of our residents. My two major opponents are each supported by a major political party and special interests who are pouring a lot of money into their races and they will be beholden to those special interests. I am the only candidate with the independence and the leadership experience to stand up to special interests and to make decisions that are in the best interest of our neighborhoods and our residents. That was council woman, Barbara Bree, who's running for San Diego. Mayor, thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and family to subscribe to the show.

There’s a place in Tijuana where the children of migrant families can go to just be a kid. Now they’re building another one. Plus, San Diego researchers find a type of algae that will fix problems with your gut. And San Diego mayoral candidate Barbara Bry speaks to KPBS.

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.