Our first meeting in Tucson was with Susanna and Elsbeth at Borderlinks. Borderlinks is a binational experiential education project that began in 1988. They bring groups from all over the world (but mostly from the U.S.) on educational border trip that can last from 1 day to 3 weeks. And they are good at what they do--they have 50-60 trips every year! Participants are mostly from universities, but also church groups, seminaries, youth groups, and more. Each trip has a leader from the United States and Mexico and they mostly stay along the border, but now also offer trips to Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico and Chiapas, Mexico and around the United States to explore topics of immigration, sustainability, etc.
|A wall depicting what a trip with Borderlinks may include|
A traditional border trip would include visiting organizations and people in and around Tucson and other communities on the border, sometimes traveling south to Nogales, Altar and/or Agua Prieta. They examine the issue of immigration and talk to people affected on both sides of the wall.
Also, a huge focus of the trips is on sustainability and the groups all eat vegetarian meals during their stay, with an emphasis on local and organic foods. The yard of Borderlinks also offers examples of other ways to live sustainably with native plants, rain harvesting systems and a grey water washer.
|Cubicle dormitory at Borderlinks!|
It is amazing to see this great work being done on the border! I led immersion groups in El Paso for a while and I think education, especially about issues like immigration, is the key to making the world more just.
|Borderlinks employees Elsbeth and Susanna|