Want to join us in making a difference? We're raising money to benefit Angel and his family through the Marin Interfaith Council; any donation will help make a difference. Thank you in advance for contributing to this cause. It means so much to all of us who have gotten to know Angel and want to see him succeed in our great country.
Read about Angel & His Family's Story
Angel Requena is a Venezuelan immigrant seeking asylum in the United States. He arrived in Marin a little less than a year ago after making the perilous journey from his homeland to the US-Mexico border. Angel was forced to flee Venezuela after the death of his young son in 2017. The doctor who treated his son said his death was preventable if the hospital had the necessary basic supplies and equipment, but the government had not provided them with the necessities for general health care. In his grief, Angel went outside and attracted a film crew that was in the area filming human interest stories. They started filming him as he cried and yelled and complained about their country's state and the government's lack of care to the general population. While doing so, he attracted a crowd, and the FAES (The Special Action Force) came by, took down his name and took away the film crew filming him. He was fortunate to escape being detained by them when he slipped away and went back into the hospital to get his girlfriend and finish the paperwork for their son's body.
A few days later, after burying their son, the FAES arrived at night and broke down his gate. He, his girlfriend, and their three kids escaped to a neighbor who drove them to the border of Colombia, where his girlfriend's sister lives. Colombia would not allow him to work legally nor seek asylum, and after struggling to have a life there, he and his girlfriend decided to try to seek asylum in the United States. They traveled with their son and her two other children.
After reaching Panama, they were attacked in the Darien Jungle, most of their money stolen, his girlfriend raped, and he was beaten and thrown down an embankment. They tried to keep going, but the trauma was too much for his girlfriend and she and the children were given passage back to Colombia on a plane. Angel kept going, passing from country to country, believing that the only possible way he could support his family was to make it to the United States, which he eventually did.
He turned himself in to the border patrol in Texas and started his immigration paperwork there. The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity brought him to Oakland, and they reached out to the Marin Interfaith Council's Accompaniment Network, which has been shepherding Angel through adjusting to life here since his arrival.
Angel made the journey here, knowing that he may never see his family again, knowing that if something happens to him here, his family may never find out. He goes through periods of depression and anxiety being completely alone. When his cousin reached out to him and said he was on the way with four others, he was elated at the possibility of having family here by his side. Three of them were taken by the patrols in Mexico, but two are still on their way.
Angel is currently working and living in a bedroom in an apartment but knows that if his cousin and her son arrive, he will need at least a two-bedroom apartment for the three of them. He has asked for help to get the first and last month's rent and enough for a deposit, which is why we ask for your assistance in raising the money. The money will go to the Marin Interfaith Council and will be distributed to Angel if and when his cousin arrives and is able to get settled here. If they are not able to make it here, the funds will be used to help another individual or family settle.