It was a magical holiday season for the Casa Marianella family. Despite some turbulent world events in 2016, we are reminded of how much love exists within the Casa community, and how much it has grown in 2016. As 2017 fast approaches, we remain steadfast in our mission to instill hope within the refugee community in Austin and beyond, and will continue to work hard to provide emergency services to immigrants from across the globe.

The following Christmas highlights were shared by our very own ESL Coordinator as well as staff member Livi Raggio:

Christmas Eve
Residents, staff, and family members gathered in our community room for the evening and it was a joyful celebration full of laughter and singing followed by delicious atole and gift sharing. Our resident Ermias played a string instrument called the krar and sang traditional Eritrean songs, while Casa staff member Miriam sang O Holy Night in Italian, and volunteer Bob Nelson sang White Christmas.

Christmas Day
We celebrated Christmas Convivio outdoors as this was Austin’s warmest Christmas on record! It was a wonderful gathering of both Casa and Posada residents, former residents, staff, volunteers, family, friends, Casa supporters, and ESL students! ¬†Staff member Livi particularly enjoyed learning Eritrean-style dance from our resident Haregeweyn!¬† We danced, talked, and hung out together, delighting in one another’s company, the warm weather, and the occasion, with thankfulness for one another, our blessings, this refuge, and this community.

What a blessing to spend the holidays with our inspiring and courageous residents. Thank you to the entire Casa community for your continuous love and support. Onward to 2017!