Special to Delta County Independent

Learn the story of how one family separated at the Mexican-U.S. border was reunited when Rosayra “Rosy” Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo speak via Zoom at Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church’s first Just Joe Conversation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6. All are invited to join the discussion.

Collazo is author of “The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border,” which tells Cruz’s story of leaving Guatemala after her husband was murdered and her oldest son threatened with kidnapping. Packed in a truck with other refugees, Cruz and her sons made the 2,300-mile trek from their Central American home to the Mexican-U.S. border. Upon arriving at the border, her children were taken from her and she was put into an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center.

Collazo is part of a group of women in the Bronx, New York, who wanted to help mothers like Cruz after hearing their stories on National Public Radio. They formed Immigrant Families Together and began raising money to help reunite women being held in Arizona with their children. The first bond they had to raise was $7,000. They have since supported more than 100 mothers by raising bond, providing transportation from Arizona to where their children are, and helping separated families deal with the realities of reuniting their families.

Collazo is the daughter of Jim Schweitert of Cedaredge and a member of Cedaredge Community UMC. Jim has purchased copies of the book, which are available free for pickup at the United Methodist Thrift Store on Main Street in Cedaredge. It is recommended folks read the book before hearing the women speak if possible. There is no charge for the conversation.

For information, contact Pastor Joe Agne, revagne@gmail.com or 720-891-5233. The Zoom link is posted on the church’s website: cedaredgecumc.com. The link will also be available by emailing Steve Countryman, scountryman42@gmail.com, or Pastor Agne, revagne@gmail.com. Contact either person now to be added to the list who will receive the link by email. Then sign into Zoom by 6 p.m., Jan. 6.

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