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Activities based on "The Good Samaritans of Oaxaca"


For grades K-3

After reading the story, discuss with children:

  • How does Marisol feel at the beginning of the story?
  • How do you think she feels at the end?
  • If you were Marisol, how would you hope to be helped?
  • If you lived in a home like Lucia, how would you feel about the guests? What would you do when they arrived?

Consider assigning parts to children and read the story aloud as they act out the situations.

For grades 4-6

Read the story; then read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Challenge students to write a modern-day parable, using a migration theme. This can be in the form of an article, a skit, or a puppet show for younger students

For grades K-6

Eight-year-old Marisol and her mother had just arrived at the Good Samaritan House in Oaxaca, Mexico. Two days ago, they had left Honduras. Now they were welcomed by Juana and Mateo, the house managers. When Juana asked them to sit down, Marisol pulled her chair up as close as she could to Mama and clung to her hand. What would happen now? Marisol could feel her heart pounding. 

Marisol’s father worked in the United States, hoping to make a better life for his family. He had been there so long, Marisol had a hard time remembering his face. A few days ago, Papa called them. He had paid someone who would bring Mama and Marisol from Honduras all the way to him. But that is not what happened. The man came and he did get them as far as Oaxaca. However, then he stole’s Mama’s bag and left them! Now they were far from home and family, still far from Papa, and had no money or even phone numbers for those they loved. Mama was very tired and Marisol knew she was worried. 

Now Juana was saying, “We have a bedroom all ready. You and Marisol can stay here for three days.”

Mama squeezed Marisol’s hand.

“We will help you get the phone numbers you lost, and you can call your family from the center,” Mateo said. “There too you will get information about migrating so you can make the best decisions. Do either of you need a doctor?"

“No,” Mama said, smiling now. “Thank you!”

Just then a girl, younger than Marisol, came into the room. “This is our daughter, Lucia,” Juana said.

Lucia asked Marisol, “Would you like to play? I’ll show you my dolls—or would you rather play with the kitten, or go outside?”

Marisol looked at Mama, who nodded. Soon Marisol was laughing with Lucia. That night, Marisol slept soundly, snuggled up close to Mama.

The next day, while Marisol and Lucia played, Mama met with people at the center, learned many things about migration and contacted their family in Honduras. She decided the best thing to do was to return home.

As soon as everything was worked out, they said goodbye to their new friends. No longer afraid or exhausted, Marisol and Mama journeyed back home.

For grades 7-12

The list below of some services the Center for Migrant Orientation offers. Read the article and look for these and other services stated in greater detail. Choosing from the list of Catholic Social Teachings and the Corporal Works of Mercy, discuss or write about three ways the Center shows compassion towards migrating people.

The Center and/or the House provide, among other services:

  • Welcomes each migrant with compassion and respect
  • Housing and meals for three days and nights
  • Orientation on the many issues of migration, including risks, rights, consequences and responsibilities
  • Medical assistance if necessary
  • Emotional counseling if necessary
  • Assistance in communicating with family
  • Help getting a money order 

Catholic Social Teachings:

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God's Creation

Corporal Works of Mercy:

  • To feed the hungry
  • To give drink to the thirsty
  • To clothe the naked.
  • To visit and ransom the captives.
  • To shelter the homeless.
  • To visit the sick.
  • To bury the dead.

Another resource on the Corporal Works of Mercy here.