Last month, I had the privilege of helping with an art exhibit to raise awareness for human trafficking in Mexico. My roommate Emma is a visionary and wanted to use dresses to share stories of women without a voice. She found a great book called “De Cielo al Infierno en un Día” (“From Heaven to Hell in One Day”) which contains six case studies of girls trafficked in Mexico, ages six to twenty.
A dress was chosen for each girl that represented her story. We had a school uniform, a quinceañera (a girl turning 15) dress, a housemaid’s uniform, etc. Each dress also featured a pin cushion broken heart with pins in it labeling some of the wounds that got them into trafficking in the beginning. Some had been subject to domestic abuse, deception, emotional manipulation, abduction, and more. We also had a brief summary of each story beside each dress. Our house smelled like a carnicería (a meat shop) for a few days because Emma splattered each dress with blood to represent the abuse.
That accounts for six dresses, but the seventh was the most important. It was a white, unstained dress symbolizing hope. All six women in the stories have been rescued and that is why we know their stories. The rescued are a small percentage though and we want to offer hope to the rest still in slavery.
The ladies in my bible study, and others, joined me in making smaller versions of the broken hearts to sell as reminders of the event and to raise money for Fin de la Esclavitud (The End of Slavery), the organization that Emma partnered with to host the event. The event was held at a local college in a common area in front of their library. It was so encouraging to see how many people stopped along their way to take the time to read and learn. Fin de la Esclavitud plans to host exhibits throughout the year. They have already done a second one and have two more planned currently. Please continue to pray for the continued impact of this exhibit.
Here is the link for the author who wrote the book that inspired it all.
Photos taken by myself and by Emma Holloway.