Mexico News & Politics

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

  News &
Politics
Issues &
Opinions
Business &
Finance
Health &
Evironment
Lifestyle &
Entertainment
Travel &
Outdoors
Science &
Technology

Mexicali Muslims Finally Find a Home

Chelcey Adami - Imperial Valley Press
go to original
September 24, 2012
Share



Ivan Guzman Martin reads the Quran while visiting the Centro Islamico de Mexicali on Thursday. (Chelcey Adami)

MEXICALI — Curious passers-by often peek in the window of the new Centro Islamico de Mexicali on Michoacan Avenue, just 15 minutes walking distance from the Calexico West Port of Entry, where at least twice a week, the few but faithful Mexicali Muslims come to pray together.

Valley resident Mustapha Guerbaz saw that many Muslims in Mexicali couldn’t cross into the States to meet with Valley Muslims since they don’t have the necessary visas. He then collected roughly $2,800 in donations to rent out a space in Mexicali and by the end of Ramadan this year, the Centro Islamico de Mexicali was open for visitors.

“For a long time it’s been difficult for them to find a place of worship,” he said. “In our religion, it’s an obligation if you see someone who needs help, you help them, whether they’re from your religion or not.”

Guerbaz usually comes there on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help lead prayers as well as teach the Arabic language to Mexicali Muslims so they can eventually read the Quran on their own.

It’s not easy being a Muslim in Mexico.

It’s difficult to find tortillas not made with pork lard. Some people assume that the reason women wear a head scarf is because they have cancer. Others ask if they are from a non-existent country called “Muslimania.”

These are just a few of the challenges Mexicali Muslims face.

However, finding a place to pray together and to learn more about the Arabic language as well as their faith is no longer one of those challenges.

Mexicali resident Ivan Guzman Martin visited the center for his first time Thursday out of curiosity and asked Guerbaz to show him how to write amor, or love, in Arabic on the center’s dry-erase board.

Roughly 15 people come to the center now, and Guerbaz hopes that as the center becomes more established, it will move closer to the university area of Mexicali to increase its accessibility to others.

Islam and mosques in Mexico, while still a rarity, are increasing in numbers. Mexico City’s Centro Cultural Islamico de Mexico was established in the late 1990s, and Guerbaz said Tijuana’s first mosque was built in just the last couple years.

A study by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography reported only 59 Baja California residents practicing Islam in 2000 and 3,700 in the entire country according to the 2010 census.

All of the visitors to the center are converts to Islam except one, and each has a unique story as to why they converted.

  Check out Worship Services in Puerto Vallarta


We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

TripAdvisor singled out the Botanical Garden for removal and placed us on our own page in Cabo Corrientes.

Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

Meet the Charities

Community Services

Environmental

Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family

Education

Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood

 

Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


Resources

About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

Craig's List in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos


FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

m3 • local actions from global awareness