Our Stories

​​Triumph, adversity overcome, and renewal are common themes among Casa Cornelia clients. We rejoice at the legal successes our clients have won, but we always take a moment to reflect on their pain and perseverance before they began a new life free from fear.  These are their stories... 

A Gift of God

Her name, Dorotea, means “a gift of God,” but she never thought of herself as gift to anyone. Her father abandoned her mother upon learning that she was pregnant, and when she was four months old her mother brought her to the United States through the mountains of Tecate. It was the summer of 1994. 

Read Dorotea's story of justice here.

​A Simple Request

There was nothing unusual about the request. “Puedo dejar mi carro aquí por la noche, Ricardo?” Ricardo replied, “Esta bien. No hay problema.” The battered red Toyota was pulled into the driveway and the man gave Ricardo a wave, “Gracias, adios.” It was as simple as that. A simple request to park a car for the night.  Read this family's story here.


Nora and her daughter made it to a shelter for victims of domestic violence the night Geraldo attacked her. The shelter called Casa Cornelia the next morning. Nora’s story was a familiar one. 

In the early nineties Nora, together with her mother and younger sisters and brothers crossed through the mountains east of the San Ysidro port of entry and slipped secretly into the United States. This was before Operation Gatekeeper. Nora was sixteen.

Shortly thereafter, she met Jose, fell in love and became pregnant with their daughter. Jose disappeared before Shanya was born. When, five years later, she met Geraldo she believed that better times lay ahead.  Read Nora​'s story here.