The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful Project

Support Children & Families at the US/Mexico Border

In February 2022, youth and adult allies from the Butterfly Effect visited McAllen and Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros in Mexico to support children and families seeking asylum. We volunteered with some amazing partners to provide humanitarian support. And thanks to many of YOU, we were able to deliver over 600 handmade friendship bracelets to the people we met.

We saw firsthand that the border crisis continues. There are a lot of people who still need support.

We also met some awesome NEW partners who are committed to providing ongoing support to immigrant families.

  • Team Brownsville provides humanitarian aid to asylum seekers in the cities of Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico and they welcome and support families released by US authorities into the United States at the Brownsville Bus Station. 
  • The Sidewalk School provides quality education, medical care, COVID-19 testing, employment, housing, and food assistance to those who would go without as they experience displacement on the Mexico border.
  • Dulce Refugio is a shelter which provides a safe place for immigrants seeking to enter the US.

We STILL need your help!

You can:

  1. Donate money to the amazing organizations above!
  2. Donate supplies to our partners. They need towels, books (in Spanish & Haitian Creole), hygiene kits, and more!
  3. Keep an eye out for “A Dime to Shine” – more info coming soon!!

Kids can get involved in these efforts too! You can run a donation drive at school or ask friends and family to make donations. Watch this space – we’ll post resources to help you soon!

Spread the word: We are still fighting for you!

A video message for the kids still being detained at the border…

Share this video from @EffectMigration to help #EndChildDetention and let the kids in detention know, we are still fighting for you! #youthled #art #activism #craftivism #ButterflyEffect #FamiliesBelongTogether #MigrationIsBeautiful

What is the Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful Project?

The butterfly effect is the idea that a small change can lead to a much bigger change.

Bay Area youth started the Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful project in 2019 as a way to stand up for migrant children being detained at the US southern border. The youth started with a goal of creating 15,000 butterflies as a visual representation of what was happening to children at the US southern border. Butterflies symbolize that migration is beautiful, and they are all different and beautiful in their own way, just like people. 

Over the past few years, hundreds of kids and adults across the world created over 60,000 butterflies as symbols of friendship and solidarity. These hand-made butterflies were then displayed across the country in libraries, schools, community centers, and at in the US Russell Senate Rotunda in an effort to show our support for kids at the border and raise awareness of the conditions they are facing. We delivered butterflies to elected officials in all 50 states, and even to the White House. We’ve also sent butterflies to kids in detention centers in the US. 

Our message to kids entering the US is that we see you, we care about you and we welcome you. All kids should be free and with the people who love them. 

Want to help? Click here for ways to get involved!

Why did we start this project?

We started this advocacy project because we wanted to get people to realize just how many children are being held in the detention centers. We chose butterflies because they symbolize that migration is beautiful, and because they are all different and beautiful in their own way, just like people. Every kid matters, and we kids in the Bay Area want the kids who are coming to this country to know that we care about each one of them and that we welcome them. Butterflies also symbolize freedom, and we imagine a day when all kids are free and with their families.

“Until You’re Free” by the 2-time-Grammy-nominated Alphabet Rockers!

Want to make butterflies?

Public Displays

Did you know that a collection of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope?

Over 60,000 butterflies have been created and displayed in schools, community centers, public buildings, and more.

Thank you to our partners & supporters!!

Our key partners are the Alphabet Rockers, Amnesty International, Destiny Arts Center, The Center for Cultural Power (formerly CultureStrike) MomsRising / MamásConPoder, and Tsuru for Solidarity. The line “migration is beautiful” comes from the Center for Cultural Power. We are grateful to Favianna Rodriguez for letting us use her beautiful art!

We are officially a member of Intersection for the Arts. Intersection for the Arts is a historic arts nonprofit that provides people working in arts and culture with fiscal sponsorship and resources to grow. Thank you, Intersection for the Arts!

Watch this video to learn more about the work we have done in 2020 & 2021, and then please make a tax-deductible donation to help support our work!

for supporting our work!

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