Florida’s Fight With Faith Groups Over Unaccompanied Minors

For the past seven years, Aldaberto and his wife Liliam have welcomed over 250 migrant children into their home. First in New York and then when they moved to Florida two years ago, they continued their involvement in the foster care system.

Aldaberto serves others for a living too, as a veteran peer support specialist. He works largely with amputees. 

Children never stay for long, Aldaberto told The Dispatch. But it doesn’t take long for them to become family to the couple. They have four extra beds and a backyard. Just as important are the park just a few steps from their backyard, the trips to swimming pools, and the stops at food trucks.

The kids, who usually range from 3 to 17 years old, quickly grow to call him Tío (Uncle) Aldaberto, and Liliam becomes Tía. They tag along with Tío to the international market to pick up groceries, then clamor to help Tía cook when they get home. Liliam keeps seasoning blends on hand tailored to make the children feel at home—be that Guatemala, Honduras, or Mexico.

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