Vladimiro Valdés Montoya

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico City, Mexico
Fellow Since 2008


This profile was prepared when Vladimiro Valdés Montoya was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Vladimiro is the creator and principal promoter of the Red de Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes Centroamérica y Norteamérica (Jesuit Migrant Support Network in Central and North America). As a Jesuit priest who has worked extensively with refugees in Central America and southern Mexico, Vladimiro realized he could tackle two gaping deficiencies in migrant support—the need to address continental migrant flow and the lack of coordination among Jesuit services for migrants—by building a migrant support network on top of the existing administrative infrastructure of the Society of Jesus (official name of the Jesuit order) in the Americas.

The Jesuit Migrant Support Network has two characteristics that distinguish it from other migrant support services and advocacy groups. First, Vladimiro has superimposed the developing migrant support network on top of the existing Jesuit administrative network in Central and North America, a network that is mature, far-reaching, and highly consolidated. Piggy-backing on the Jesuits’ administrative structure has given Vladimiro immediate access to a vast web of people, resources, and knowledge, from the earliest stages of the migrant support network’s development. While different Jesuit provinces had been administering their own support services for migrants, Vladimiro coordinated their efforts via this network. The network’s services are available to people of all backgrounds, entirely independent of their religious affiliation.

Second, the pan-continental structure of the Jesuit Migrant Support Network enables the Jesuits and their partner organizations—including many non-Jesuit groups—to address the true nature of migration in the Americas—flow of people, economic resources, cultures, and social problems like violence, drugs, and human rights abuses—rather than attempt to treat these issues topically in isolated communities. Whereas many migrant support programs tend to address migrant needs in specific locales, such as individual communities of origin or destination communities, the Jesuit Migrant Support Network coordinates Jesuit services for migrants from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. and Canada to reduce migrants’ vulnerability on a truly continental scale.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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