Holding Institute Featured on Texas Public Radio

It started out as a school for Mexican-American children who weren't allowed in Texas public schools. Now, it's a shelter for migrants from Central America.

A Honduran woman sat with her young son outside the Holding Institute, a community center in Laredo that cares for migrants, as the sun began to set. It was a special moment of serenity in a place that also offers migrants some stability and safety.

The institute was founded in 1860 as a school for Mexican-American children who weren’t allowed in Texas public schools. It takes up an entire block in downtown Laredo and is filled with families just like hers.

The mother and her son were in a section where kids can play basketball or enjoy the playground and swing set.

“My dream has always been to find the best life for my son because I didn’t want anything bad to happen to him,” she said.

The woman didn’t want her name used in fear that speaking out would hurt her claim for asylum. She said after she crossed the Rio Grande with her son they turned themselves over to Border Patrol agents and were sent to a processing center, then transferred to another facility.

After being fully processed, she and her son were sent to a local church in Laredo, but the church was full, so they ended up at the Holding Institute instead.