The debate over immigration in the United States has many fronts: economic, political, effects on families. Location has a lot to do with what that debate looks like. The issues, motivations, and questions can be vastly different in Adams County in rural Pennsylvania, which has a sizable migrant population, and in the Southwestern United States, which shares almost 2000 miles of border with Mexico, the most frequently crossed international border in the world.
This trip will focus on immigration and the realities of life on the border. Intending to dismantle the skewed perspectives about immigration presented by the media, participants will meet with border patrol, immigrants living in El Paso, people living in colonias on both sides of the border, human rights workers, and other leaders in immigration reform.
More than 3 million people live in the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces area, also called Paso del Norte. The group will be spending time in El Paso, TX, Las Cruces, NM, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
The Lutheran Border Awareness Project hosts groups interested in first-hand cultural immersions focused on education about border issues. They incorporate values that are important to them into their programming:
- Simplicity: learning to live with less in solidarity with those whom they serve;
- Social Justice: working alongside people who are in a system of poverty and inequality to advocate for change;
- Community: intentionally living and connecting with fellow volunteers and those living in the border.
Day 1: Fly from Baltimore to El Paso; Drive to Las Cruces, NM; Welcome and Orientation from hosts
Day 2: El Paso; Chamizal National Memorial; Learn to cook Gorditas; Dinner with members of Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey
Day 3: Presentation: homelessness and poverty; Service project at Jardin de los Ninos (after school program)
Day 4: Life at the fence; Presentation by Border Patrol; Conversations with friends at the fence (Life in a Mexican colonia); Dinner with doctor who serves most marginalized in colonias of Ciudad Juarez
Day 5: Visit La Casa, Inc; Role Play: In Her Shoes; Visit White Sands National Monument
Day 6: El Paso; Visit Border Network for Human Rights; Presentation by Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project
Day 7: Presentation: Understanding colonias; La Semilla Food Center; Closing reflection
Day 8: Las Cruces Farmer's Market; Travel home to Gettysburg
My name is Lizzy Cooper, and I am a senior from Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. I am majoring in Environmental Studies and Spanish/Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies. After taking a Spanish course freshman year that focused on immigration in the United States, I became interested in the discourse surrounding immigration and how that played out in Adams County. I am excited for the opportunity to gain a new perspective on some of the issues I have witnessed firsthand by working with Casa de la Cultura English classes and the Painted Turtle Farm, and to find ways to bring that perspective back to Gettysburg!
Location: El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico Dates: January 13-20 Cost: $1050 Register for this trip Apply for a Financial Award Sample Itinerary Trip Leaders: Lizzy Cooper
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