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Summer camp gives families in Tucson seeking asylum hope

Camp Hope is organized by Salvavision. It's a free summer camp for asylum seeking children and their families.
Posted at 3:51 PM, Jun 14, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It looks like your average summer camp for kids, and it is.

Children enjoy the splash pad, doing arts and crafts, and having lunch with their families at Camp Hope.

Camp Hope

The kids here have been through more than most.

"I want to stay, but sometimes I feel like I want to go home," Dilan, from Sasabe, Mexico, said.

Camp Hope is for asylum seeking children and their families.

Dilan’s uncle was killed in Sasabe, Mexico, and his family fled to the U.S. due to the violence.

“They’re so resilient. It’s incredible how kids are," Dora Rodriguez, the director of Salvavision said.

Camp Hope is run by Rodriguez, her daughter, and other volunteers with Salvavision. Other local organizations have also pitched in so it's free for the families.


Rodriguez has been in their shoes before, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border four decades ago after fleeing civil war in El Salvador.

“In July, 1980, it was 115 degree temperatures. We were lost in the desert, and 13 of my friends died around me,” she said.

Rodriguez was a teenager then and has since dedicated her life to helping other migrants.

With Camp Hope, she’s giving families who have gone through so much something to smile about.

“I feel happiness in my heart. My daughters have seen violence, with everything they’ve gone through. But right now, they are happy," Victoria Alvarez, an asylum seeking mother said.

Happiness today could turn into stress tomorrow, as their futures are all pending cases in court.

All hoping the U.S. will grant them asylum.

“My hope for these families and kids is they get what they deserve. It is a human right to feel safe, to be safe. That is my hope," Rodriguez said.