The History of the Youth Migrant Project


The History of the Youth Migrant Project  

This project began in 1985 when a parishioner from St. Joseph Church in Lynden noticed that migrant infants and pre-schoolers were left alone in vehicles in the hot sun while their parents worked in the fields.  Through the collaboration of interested youth ministers and the support of Catholic Community Services, the Lynden Migrant La Paloma Day Care began in the basement of St. Joseph Parish.  During 1986-1992, 200+ youth per summer spent a week in Lynden caring for the migrant children.

Due to the decreasing number of migrant workers and the creation of the Washington Migrant Council Day Care Facility (in Lynden), the daycare at St. Joseph was no longer needed.  As a result, the youth service program was discontinued after the summer of 1992.  In 1993, the Youth Migrant Project relocated in the Skagit Valley.  Participants assisted in the four Washington State Migrant Council daycare centers.

At the present time, this program runs from mid-June until early-September.  The youth serve a daily lunch to children whose parents are working during the day and selected apartment complexes as well as working at the food bank at St. Charles, visiting the migrant camps and providing donations.  In order to make this experience available to more parishes, the Lynden program was restarted in 1998.

YMP Goals

The goals of the Youth Migrant Project are:

  1.  Discovering and living Jesus’ call to a life of loving service
  2.  Understanding the importance of respecting the rights and responsibilities of all people
  3.  Learning the one does not have to travel to a third-world country to work for justice and against           poverty
  4. Experiencing the richness of the Hispanic culture
  5. Gaining valuable experience in a controlled setting to prepare youth for future mission experiences
  6. Making new friends, developing and deepening an awareness of their faith, and experiencing the universality of the Catholic Church

The St. Luke's Youth Group from Shoreline gathered to begin preparation to assist the

the distribution of food at the Tri-Parish Food Bank on August 1, 2012.




If you are interested in learning more about the Youth Migrant Project, please contact Jose Ortiz at 360-333-5015

Making Another's World Their Own - please click on this link to read a July 2014 Skagit Valley Hearld article about the Youth Migrant Project.


Blood, Sweat and Berries is a group of young adults from St. John Bosco in Lakewood that spend time at the YMP and then decided to live as farmworkers for a summer.  Check out their website:

Faith Works Across the USA
We were blessed to be included in a DVD that highlights the farm worker experience across the USA.  To purchase this DVD here is the link:


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