Our next family is from Cuba and just arrived in the US at the end of January. Both husband and wife are MD’s. The husband is an Optometrist and the wife is a General Practitioner. The government of Cuba sent them on a mission to Venezuela and it was at that time they decided they did not want to continue doing this type of work for Cuba anymore, so they crossed the border into Colombia. Once across the border, they went to the US Embassy, were granted asylum, given their visas to the US, and flown to Phoenix. They are working on learning English and getting any type of job for now, but eventually will try to become MD’s again so they can practice medicine. They have many family members in Cuba, but it is unlikely their family will try to leave Cuba to be with them in the US.
Our next family is from Cuba and arrived in the US in Miami in December and then made their way to Phoenix, arriving at the end of January. Both husband and wife are dentists. They were sent to Venezuela to do mission work for the Cuban Government in May 2015. They were sent to one of the most dangerous parts of Venezuela where there is lots of violence, drugs, and much instability. Often they were not able to go out on the streets because of the constant gun fire and other violence that was present. The two traveled across the border to Colombia where they were granted asylum and then made their way to the US. They are both employed with a nonprofit that helps children who have crossed the US border and do not have any place to go. They are studying English and are hoping to take the necessary steps to become dentists again in the US.
Our next family is from Somalia and has 6 children – 2 daughters, age 2 & 13, and 4 sons ranging in age from 5 to 21. The mother and father fled Somalia more than 25 years ago due to it being very unsafe and living in the civil war. They have lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for 25 years. It took them 7 years to go through the process of getting the okay to live in the US. All of their children were born in the camp and do not know what life is like to live some place else other than a refugee camp. Prior to leaving Somalia, the father worked in a restaurant and the mother sold fruits, vegetables, and other foods in a market. They still have many family members left in the camp in Kenya and hope they will be able to come to the US one day. They do not speak any English and hope to learn soon and find work.