CC Community heightens awareness of Human Trafficking

Rob Smith and Paul Witt

Human trafficking is a problem that is present in every corner of the world. The Marianists recently chose to focus on human trafficking to spread social awareness of this tragic issue over the course of the next three years. “Human Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery. It includes any act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.” (Definition from San Antonio Police Department)

The Marianist Life Club at Central Catholic decided to raise awareness of human trafficking by choosing homecoming week as a time to educate the community on this prevalent issue. “It is a student led project, and I think it is a great time to raise awareness because it is a major issue that is very intricate.” said club moderator Mr. McCarthy after adding that I-10 and I-35 are some of the major human trafficking corridors in the nation. Every morning this week, the announcements began with facts about the social issue at hand, and led to much discussion in the classrooms among the students.

Here are some students’ thoughts on the issue:

“You don’t know it’s a huge issue until you hear the cold, hard facts.” –  Football player: Austin Vargas

“A tragedy that is a good cause for the football team to play for… I was unaware of the magnitude of the issue, and it is scary to think that it can happen to any of us.”

– School president: Adam Trevino

“The blue heart represents that we are playing for something bigger”- Football team captain: Thomas Palomera

“It makes me feel blessed and thankful for the opportunities I have.” – Football player: Shane Boucher

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by it [human trafficking].” – Football player: Bubba Galindo

“It’s good to educate others because most people don’t know how big of a problem it really is.”- Central Cheerleader: Kat Nino

The larger issue lies in the fact that many people are not aware, nor are they well informed on this very severe issue. “Human Trafficking is the world’s second largest criminal enterprise behind the narcotics trade, and traffickers are profiting an estimated $32 billion a year in the global market” (San Antonio Against Slavery). “Not enough people are informed, and they tend to avoid the sensitive topic,” said Central cheerleading captain Laura Barrett after speaking about her experience at Marianist Life Camp this past summer where she was introduced to the topic of human trafficking. Ms. Barrett then stated, “Human trafficking is taking people’s rights away, and it is good to raise awareness.” She then continued on to express her personal feelings, “I feel safe here in the Central Community, and I feel sorry for the people that are suffering, because they don’t have the opportunities that I have.”

Rob Smith and Paul Witt interview Adrian Ortiz about human trafficking awareness.
Mr. Cassler
Rob Smith and Paul Witt interview Adrian Ortiz about human trafficking awareness.

Adrian Ortiz and Michael Trevino from the Marianist Life Club said the club decided that homecoming was the time to raise awareness because of the large audience. “The Marianists just transitioned from their previous social issue focus on water conservation to human trafficking, and we wanted to get involved,” said Ortiz as he continued to talk about their mission. “We hope to continue spreading the message by going to Central Alumni owned restaurants and raising awareness there,” said Michael Trevino as he elaborated on the Marianist Life’s plan.

img_2499Mr. Cassler

Human trafficking is a social issue that needs to be recognized and addressed, and for that reason, Central Catholic is promoting the fight against human trafficking. At the homecoming game, Marianist Life members will be handing out the blue heart stickers (the internationally recognized symbol created by the United Nations). The football team, the student body, and the rest of the community hope that the message will continue to spread to cause change that will continue to increase the fight against the cruel reality of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a crime against humanity.”    – Pope Francis