Adrienne Enriquez and Alysson Enriquez
Spirituality & Health|May/June 2020
Adrienne Enriquez and Alysson Enriquez
Tequia Burt tells the story of two Portland women who are welcoming newcomers and honoring their own family.
Tequia Burt

HELPING REFUGEES HAS ALWAYS been important to the Enriquez family. “My dad was a child refugee from Cuba,” Adrienne explains. “He was one of ten kids brought to the U.S. by his parents, who left Cuba after the revolution in 1959. Now we have this huge extended family here in Portland, and we wanted to pay our good fortune forward.”

The 2016 presidential election spurred sisters-in-law Adrienne and Alysson to launch Butterfly Boxes. The nonprofit provides welcome boxes to refugees fleeing other countries and joining the Portland community.

“I have two small children,” Alysson says. “We woke up that morning, and my daughter Evelyn, who was six at the time, was really hopeful that we were going to have our first woman president. She woke up and was just heartbroken and scared. Because of all the rhetoric she had heard, all she could think about in her little six-year-old mind was closing borders and building walls. And so, for me, looking at these two little people, I felt this strong impetus to do something. I had to show my kids that even though it felt scary, everything was going to be okay.”

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May/June 2020