Hospitals in Tijuana, Mexico aren’t the kindest to pregnant women. Abuse, both physical and verbal is widely experience. Also, they aren’t allowed to have any close friends or family with them during labor and often hustled by the doctors. Many of them are talked into getting unnecessary C-sections so that doctors could cash in on more money.Furthermore, these women often give birth in a packed room with us to twenty other pregnant women around them.
Ximena Rojas offers these women an alternative to the corruption found at the local hospitals. 35-year-old Rojas is what you’d call a midwife. Midwives are relatively new to the country and were only made legal in 2011. Accompanying Ximena is 34-year-old, American born Bianca Mercado.
Their services aren’t just available to Mexican women, but also Haitians. The Haitians have starts pouring into Mexico over the past couple years. They have a dream of making it to America. They began coming in after the 2010 earthquake. Originally they went to Brazil, but issues down their saw them traveling up north. Despite coming up here, getting treated in Mexico wasn’t at all easy for them.
Ximena and Bianca started doing this work in September of 2016. “When I became aware of the situation of the stranded migrants at the border, I thought that among those people there must have been pregnant women and newborns and I also thought of the shortcomings of the Mexican healthcare system.”
Rojas didn’t start in Tijuana. She is originally from the port city of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. She went to the National University of Mexico City where she studied nursing and obstetrics. She began helping out with births in 2010 and soon found herself in Baja California. She was fascinated by the border and decided to stay.