Immigration on the US-Mexico border
US-Mexico Border (El Paso, Texas)
Dates of Travel
Cost of trip
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.
|Day 1: Travel 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
|Day 8: Las Cruces Farmer's Market||Travel home to Gettysburg|
About the Program
Immersion Projects are off-campus, educational opportunities at sites in the United States and abroad which take place over Winter Break, Spring Break, and in May. Students spend the weeks prior to travel learning about the community and its history. Students then travel to sites ranging from Nicaragua to Morocco and from Alabama to New York City, where they immerse themselves in a the community. Each project seeks to foster a dialogue between the students and the host community around issues of social justice. By working alongside community leaders and sharing their stories, students learn about themselves and the world. Students find Immersion Projects to be exciting and powerful educational experiences. Immersion Projects are open to all Gettysburg College students. Occasionally, persons from off-campus participate. Participants must be sixteen years of age or older. Students must be in good disciplinary standing (no more than 5 points and not on academic probation) in order to participate on an Immersion Project. Each participant must agree to full participation in their chosen project by attending all pre-trip meetings, completing required paperwork and preparatory assignments (such as readings, videos, other activities), behaving in an appropriate manner at all times, participating in group reflection, and contributing to the group follow-up project.
Application and Payment
Registration opens TBD at 6:00PM and closes TBD at 4:00PM. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at time of registration. First half of payment is due TBD by 4:00PM. Final payment is due TBD by 4:00PM.
Scholarships are available to help offset the cost of an Immersion Project. Read carefully the criteria for financial awards and follow directions for completing the application. For consideration, complete the Financial Award Application and email it to Immersion_Projects@gettysburg.edu. See application for detailed information. Application Deadline: TBD by 4:00PM.
Mandatory Orientation Session
All Winter project participants are required to attend a mandatory orientation session held on early November. Email reminders will be sent to participants. Participants will meet other project members, receive important paperwork, and discuss requirements and goals of Immersion Projects.
Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance
All Gettysburg College students traveling on an Immersion Project are covered under the College's medical evacuation and repatriation travel insurance. This insurance does not replace the student's primary insurance policy, but will cover certain emergency services when traveling, such as the need for evacuation. Students and parents are welcome to examine the details of the policy.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
The Center for Public Service will register each student traveling internationally on an Immersion Project in the STEP Program. This program is a free service provided by the U.S. government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP provides users with travel warnings and alerts, and allows users to receive routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Withdraw from Project
The $100 deposit required at the time of registration is non-refundable should the participant decide to withdraw from the project. In addition, the participant is responsible for paying for all expenses incurred on their behalf at the time of the withdrawal. For example, if airline tickets have been purchased by the time of withdrawal, participant will be responsible for the cost of the ticket, as well as any other pre-paid expenses.
The Center for Public Service reserves the right to remove a participant prior to departure for reasons of, but not limited to, failure to make project payments in a timely manner, financial debt to the College, a history of judicial violations, failure to complete required participant forms (such as release and health forms), failure to attend mandatory Orientation Session and/or group meetings. The Center for Public Service reserves the right to send a participant home during the project (at the participant's expense) for reasons of, but not limited to, violations of College policy, the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, disrespect toward site community or group members, or medical/psychological emergencies.