The Mancos United Methodist Church held a traditional Spanish fair on Saturday to celebrate Rosa Sabido’s first year in sanctuary at the Mancos United Methodist Church.
Supporters celebrated with music, poetry, art and other creative expressions in Fellowship Hall to celebrate the past year. The event also featured crafts for children, and was open to the public.
Participants were asked to place milagros, small items symbolizing prayers and burdens, on an altar.
“I decided to have the altar because we all always hope for a miracle in our lives,” Sabido said. “It is a miracle that I am still here – that I am still able to resist and fight – and I wanted to offer people the opportunity to request their burdens and dreams because miracles happen.”
The Mexican national, who sought sanctuary in Mancos after her request for a one-year stay of deportation was denied last May, has lived in the church since June 2, 2017.
The Cortez resident approached Mancos First United Methodist Church, which had voted to become a sanctuary congregation, because she said she didn’t know where else to go after Immigrations and Customs Enforcement denied her stay of removal. She had met several members of the congregation, including Pastor Craig Paschal, through her side business of selling homemade tamales.
A year later, the church and the volunteer group Rosa Belongs Here have focused on Sabido, scheduling daily activities in Fellowship Hall. Even though she’s no closer to becoming a legal U.S. resident than she was a year ago, Sabido said she feels her time in sanctuary hasn’t been wasted. She said she hopes her story will help create change in America’s immigration laws or at least in the hearts of its citizens.
“I wanted to do it this way because I continuously appreciate all the support that I have from this community, and they are unstoppable they are here and they have been here for 365 days,” Sabido said last month. “They do not seem to be giving up, so this is my way to thank their kindness.”
Earlier this year, along with three other Colorado residents in sanctuary – Ingrid Encalada Latorre, Araceli Velasquez and Sandra Lopez – she helped create “The People’s Resolution,” a petition asking the Colorado Legislature to support a path to citizenship for people like them. The American Friends Service Committee, which advocates for immigrants in sanctuary, is seeking endorsements for the resolution from Coloradans and hopes to introduce it to the Legislature this summer. Sabido said she’s been promoting the resolution mostly for the sake of sanctuary immigrants with children who are American citizens.
Journal reporters Emily Rice and Stephanie Alderton contributed to this article.