NEW UPDATE: September 2020
The humanitarian Mexican visas have been renewed and delivered. They can now legally work and have social security; they are also able to demonstrate they are legally in Mexico once they go to the US embassy for the medical Visa so that Lilliana will to be able to go with Shriners! (This was possible in such a short time thanks to the Human Rights and former migration/refugees commission delegates in the States.)
UPDATE: August 2020
The family has to file for medical visa status in the United States; the Shriners will not aid in this process. One Story at a Time will cover the legal expenses for the visa; once it is approved, Lilliana will be on her way for additional surgery to help heal her burns.
In addition, one of our generous sponsors was very moved by her story and is sending money each month to help them with food, clothes, and all the travel expenses in an Uber back and forth to doctors and the border for visas, etc. (They live in a part of Tijuana where there is no public transportation. In return, Lilliana writes letters each month to her kind new friend, and they are creating a very special bond. Even more special: Liliana and her mother know that there are people in the United States who care about their plight and are willing to reach out with care and support.)
-We have accompanied and helped them in their legal procedures in order to remain legally in Mexico and have their humanitarian visas renewed. In this way, the U.S. embassy will see they are legally in Mexico and then, as we hope, will provide the medical visa to travel to Sacramento for further treatment.
Because of the generous donations of people like you, we are able to help individual children like Lilliana find healing and safety in multiple ways. One Story at a Time.
Lilliana, 8 years old, was playing with her two stepbrothers around a pot of beans on an open fire in their Honduran village. They picked up pieces of the ignited wood as though they were swords. Suddenly, Lilliana’s hair caught on fire. One of her brothers grabbed a bottle of Coke and threw it on her face, thinking it would help put out the fire. But the liquid was flammable, and Lilliana’s face and chest instead were engulfed by flames.
Lilliana was rushed to the hospital in nearby Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. She was in an extremely delicate condition, and The Shriners decided to transport her to a hospital in Boston in the United States, where she received emergency medical attention, staying with her mother in the States before returning to Honduras.
Lilliana continued to travel back and forth to the States for additional surgeries. The situation in in the Honduran neighborhood where Lilliana’s family lived became increasingly dangerous. The violence of gang activity threatened the lives of Lilliana and her family. They knew they needed to leave if they were going to survive.
The family decided to join a caravan leaving for Mexico. This action saved Lilliana from the future facing other girls in town: to either become a sex provider for the gang or a drug dealer. They wanted more for Lilliana ⏤ to give her the opportunity to live in peace and with dignity.
Lilliana’s family arrived in Mexico in November of 2019 and applied for refuge. After spending some time in a shelter, both of Lilliana’s parents found jobs, which allowed them to secure a small place for rent. With the help of One Story at a Time, Lilliana was able to start school and buy what she needed and start life anew.
We knew that Lilliana’s treatment with The Shriners had been interrupted when the family had been forced to flee Honduras, leaving everything behind. It was not easy for them to return for their passports and the relevant paperwork regarding Lilliana’s case. One Story at a Time worked with the family to make arrangements and schedule an appointment with a Shriners hospital in Sacramento, which agreed to re-open her case. This process was halted due to Covid. With the help of a sponsor, Lilliana is thriving in school and has a puppy. She will be returning to Shriners to complete her treatment once the borders open for her.