Paulina Olvera Cáñez

Nurturing migrant communities with access to education and reinforced rights.

Headshot Paulina



Affiliations & Roles

Director, Espacio Migrante


Paulina is the founder and Executive Director of Espacio Migrante, a binational community organization based in Tijuana, which works with migrant communities to provide access to education, Human Rights, comprehensive care and at the same time raise awareness in the community about the realities of migrants.

She founded Espacio Migrante in 2012, with the POETA project, the creation of a computer center in a local shelter in Tijuana, and the implementation of computer literacy classes for migrants. Subsequently, the organization played an important role in supporting the Haitian community on its arrival in Tijuana in 2016 and 2017. She is also co-founder of the Strategic Humanitarian Aid Committee of Tijuana. Currently, she directs Espacio Migrante’s shelter for asylum-seeking families, as well as the cultural and community center where migrants living in Tijuana can participate in community activities, educational programs, cultural events, and health and legal services.

Paulina has a degree in International Relations from the Autonomous University of Baja California. In 2019, she received the San Diego Fellowship, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California, UCSD. She is working as a Graduate Student Researcher in the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, in the study “Children of Mexican Parents Deported from the United States: Policy, Administrative Process, and Family Experiences”. Paulina has been awarded with UCSD’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratories Fellowship and is currently working in the research project “Educational Continuity for Migrant Students at the U.S.-Mexican Border”.


Meet More WEA Women in Action