BROOKLYN (PIX11) — A local group is helping migrants cope with the stresses of a new life in the U.S. by creating a special, healing quilt.

The El Puente Quilt Project started in October. Fifteen families from Colombia and Venezuela, who are finding it difficult to express themselves with words in English, have come together to tell their stories and heal, one stitch at a time. 

Marco Carrión, executive director nonprofit organization El Puente in Williamsburg, says he’s started a quilting circle at their headquarters on south 4th street. He wants to create a safe haven for more than two dozen asylum seekers. 

Carrión says he chose quilting to help these families cope with mental health issues.  They gather to sew, meet with other families, and build trust within the community. 

The project is supervised by Silvia Hernandez, the master quilter at El Puente. In each panel, there will  be stories of immigration, change, and transition.  It’s colorful expression of community and culture.

The United Way of NYC CEO Grace Bonilla says it’s community organizations like El Puente that are on the frontlines, providing critical resources and also mental health support.  They have created a fund called the Emergency Assistance and Community Needs Fund.  

There are resources like El Puente’s La Tienda, which means shop in Spanish, where asylum seeking families can get clothes, shoes, and even Halloween costumes.  

From the practical to the holistic, this artistic collaboration is helping families transcend their current circumstances and highlight their humanity.