Life in sanctuary: Will a mother’s sacrifice be worth it?

A Salvadorian immigrant faces the mental and physical repercussions of living in a Denver church.


Araceli Velasquez came to the United States when she was 19 to plea for asylum. She made a life in Colorado, met her husband and had three children.

After seven years she was unable to renew her stay of deportation. She sought sanctuary in a Denver church and has continued to seek asylum.  

Velasquez hasn’t left the church in over a year.

Laurel Smith specializes in photo and video that promotes public awareness, enables fundraising and stimulates local businesses. She works from Carbondale, Colorado. Email HCN at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor.