Arizona | Center for Victims of Torture


Proyecto Mariposa: A Partnership to Support Asylum Seekers

CVT’s Proyecto Mariposa in Tucson, Arizona, was developed to support people who are seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing torture and persecution in their home countries. As these individuals take steps to settle in the U.S., CVT is there to extend psychosocial support and case management, helping people begin their journey of healing and hope and, potentially, a new life.

The word “mariposa” means “butterfly” in Spanish, and at the Center for Victims of Torture, we appreciate that at the U.S. Southern border, the butterfly is a regional symbol of the migrant. In Proyecto Mariposa, we work in close partnership with Casa Alitas, a welcome center that provides temporary shelter for people who are making their way to resettlement locations. “Alitas” means “little wings” in Spanish. This symbolism was meaningful to us as we assessed the kinds of care that we could offer to help people in transit, making their way to new locations. Because we offer destination case management, we chose the name “Mariposa” to represent the growth from little wings to a butterfly as migrants build new lives in the U.S.

When people flee to the U.S. Southern border, many are taken into Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. When those located on the Arizona border are released, some are brought to the shelter run by Casa Alitas. Hundreds arrive each day. Many describe their highly traumatizing journey to the border, their detention in CBP or ICE custody, and for many, their prolonged stay near the U.S./Mexico border.

To support these clients, Proyecto Mariposa integrates co-located services for asylum-seeking families including psychosocial screenings, psychoeducation information and ongoing tele-case management for families as they move on to their final destinations throughout the United States. Case managers provide virtual case management services and distribute information about topics such as mental health and parenting to families.

Read an article by Dr. Simon Adams, CVT president & CEO:

Looking ahead to the destination cities for many families, CVT case managers connect clients to shelter, primary and mental health care, schooling and other support organizations in those locations. In addition, Proyecto Mariposa staff organize secondary trauma and resilience training and support to the staff and volunteers who work hard every day at Casa Alitas.

As asylum seekers begin a journey of healing and hope, CVT is there with our partners, helping to ensure that the transformation and new life that are a possibility, become a reality.



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