Rafael, Honduras

I was an indigenous leader of the group, “Maya Chorti” in Honduras. There, I worked for two years trying to promote the indigenous language, while sometimes questioning educational programs, specifically in the area of Ocotepeque. Due to my work, I was threatened by individuals that discriminated against this ethnic group. I was selected to participate in a youth exchange between Canada and Honduras. I came to Canada on July 15, 2013, where I was a volunteer in the community of Perth, Ontario for three months.

While I was still in Canada, my cousin warned me that our family was receiving death threats. Shortly after, my cousin was assassinated in Honduras. It is for this reason that I decided to seek refuge in Canada. I spent five months homeless and in poor conditions in Canada. After some time, I finally found Matthew House Ottawa. There, I found a family, peace, security and emotional and spiritual support. The staff, volunteers and friends at Matthew House supported me throughout my refugee hearing process and, in May 2014, I was granted refugee status. For me, Matthew House Ottawa is more than just a place to live, it’s about feeling the love of God in the people around me.

Refugee, ImpactAshley Reiter