Women Under the Bridge

Marie Montalvo

Hundreds of immigrants, mostly women, and children wait in tent cities by the Rio
Grande River in Matamoros, Mx. They must wash, bathe, and drink from the very river that
separates them from freedom.

Some of these asylum seekers have been waiting to cross the border since 2018. Many if
returned to their home countries, will be killed. These people are reviled by people on both sides
of the border. On the day this picture was taken, tensions were high, as there were reports that
there would be protests by the people of the Mexican border town of Matamoros who want the
immigrants gone, the radio announced that the military would be there to keep the peace.
They are surviving on the charity of religious groups, and a group of liberal women called the
Angry Abuelitas who take food, and clothing to them daily. They gather wood from along the
river and must use this for cooking and warmth.

In spite of their exhaustion, they maintain their cleanliness as much as they can, and their hope
for freedom is stronger than the hate they are receiving from people on both sides of the border.