FAQ

 

If you do not find answers to your questions, email us at info@borderlinks.org.

 

How much do your delegations cost?

BorderLinks charges $180 per person per day. This includes all programming, interpretation, lodging, meals, and transportation (excluding airfare to and from Tucson). We require a $500 deposit from groups and $100 deposit from individuals at the time of booking, to reserve your space. This will be credited to your total fee at the time of the final invoice.

 

Is financial aid available for your programs?

BorderLinks is glad to provide reduced rates or work trade to people who cannot afford our regular price. (We encourage participants to pay the full price whenever possible to help make reduced rates possible!)  Work trade may include gardening work or office help. We are less likely to offer reduced rates during our busy season (much of January and February, and all of March), but you are welcome to inquire. Please email info@borderlinks.org to discuss these options.

 

How do I schedule a delegation for my group? for myself?

We invite you to submit a delegation inquiry form for whichever type of delegation you’re interested in joining. Find information about delegations for groups here. Find detailed information about delegations for individuals here

 

Are there age limits on your programs?

Most of our participants range in age from 15-70 years old. We will accept students as young as 6th grade on a BorderLinks delegation, and we have no upper age limit on participation. However, we urge potential delegates to consider whether a BorderLinks delegation is an appropriate experience, particularly for younger students. Even with a more relaxed schedule, our delegations typically consist of long days (11-13 hours) and include meetings with local community members, workshops, court and detention visits, and walks in the desert. We will defer to your judgement about whether this kind of programming is suitable for your young ones in the 10-15 year age range.

 

How does BorderLinks put together itineraries for groups?

BorderLinks prepares itineraries for delegations that are tailored to the goals and needs of each delegation and that are appropriate for the duration of the delegation's time at BorderLinks. Approximately two months before a delegation arrives, a BorderLinks program organizer will contact the trip leader to begin the itinerary preparation process, and a final itinerary is usually ready a week or so prior to the trip. BorderLinks staff always stress that last-minute changes to itineraries are common, in order to take advantage of unique opportunities or to meet the needs of our partner organizations. 

 

Can our delegation visit Mexico?

Many BorderLinks delegations cross the Arizona border, either at Nogales (one hour south of Tucson) or at Douglas (two hours southeast of Tucson). Across the border from Nogales is Nogales, Sonora; across the border from Douglas is Aqua Prieta, Sonora. While crossing into Mexico is usually uneventful, returning to the US can be difficult, as delegates must pass through Immigration and Customs at the border and through Border Patrol checkpoints further north. If a member of your delegation lacks the appropriate documents to pass safely through these checkpoints, please inform the program organizer who will be preparing your itinerary. BorderLinks strongly urges delegations to be together as a group for the entire duration of the trip, so that all delegates have the same experiences. So if one member of a delegation cannot pass through the various checkpoints, BorderLinks would recommend that the group not visit Mexico -- or even not travel too far south of Tucson, where a Border Patrol checkpoint is located. Also, groups with insurance restrictions on travel to foreign countries will not be able to visit Mexico.

 

Who do BorderLinks delegations meet with and learn from?

BorderLinks delegations meet with a variety of people and organizations. The specific itinerary for a delegation depends on the length of its visit and the needs and goals of the delegation, and on the capacity of our community partners. No delegation experiences all of the items below, but most delegations will experience many of these:

  • Café Justo (Agua Prieta)
  • Casa de la Misericordia (Nogales)
  • Chukson Water Protectors (Tucson)
  • Coalicion de Derechos Humanos (Tucson)
  • DouglaPrieta Works (Agua Prieta)
  • End Streamline Coalition (Tucson)
  • The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (Tucson and Florence)
  • Frontera de Cristo (Douglas)
  • Green Valley Samaritans (Green Valley)
  • Keep Tucson Together (Tucson)
  • Mariposas Sin Fronteras (Tucson)
  • No More Deaths (Tucson)
  • Paisanos Unidos (Tucson)
  • People Helping People in the Borderlands (Arivaca)
  • Scholarships AZ (Tucson)
  • Sierra Club Borderlands Program (Tucson)
  • Southside Presbyterian Church (Tucson)
  • Southside Workers Center (Tucson)
  • Tucson Samaritans (Tucson)
  • Todd Miller, author of Border Patrol Nation and other relevant books (Tucson)

 

What workshops can BorderLinks do with delegations?

BorderLinks staff have developed many workshops and simulations that help delegations delve into complex issues. While some of the titles may not mean much, you can get a sense of the topics covered in these workshops:

  • Battle of the Story workshop
  • Border History workshop
  • Free Trade simulation
  • Legal Immigration simulation
  • Market Basket survey
  • Mass Incarceration and Immigration Detention workshop
  • Popular Education workshop
  • Raining Rocks workshop
  • Solidarity/Charity workshop

 

What housing and food do you offer?

Delegates stay in BorderLinks' dorm, located in the BorderLinks office. Ten high-walled cubicles provide sleeping space for up to 34 people (or up to 48 people if some delegates are willing to share a full-size bed). Cubicle walls do not extend to the ceiling, so some delegates may wish to bring earplugs. BorderLinks provides clean linen for the beds.

BorderLinks staff prepare simple, healthy, and balanced lunches and dinners in the BorderLinks kitchen, where delegates eat. Meals often reflect Mexican or Central American influences. Delegates prepare their own breakfasts with ingredients provided by BorderLinks. BorderLinks maintains a vegetarian kitchen. BorderLinks staff have experience adapting meals to meet any dietary restrictions -- if delegates inform us  of such needs when they register.

 

What is the best way to travel to Tucson?

The Tucson airport is a 20-minute drive from the BorderLinks office. Greyhound provides bus service to Tucson, and Amtrak provides train service three days each week.  

Some delegates choose to fly into Phoenix, as flights there are often much cheaper. However, Phoenix is about two hours away by car, and delegates arriving in Phoenix must make their own arrangements for transportation to Tucson. Several companies provide regular service between Phoenix and Tucson, including Arizona Shuttle and Greyhound. Shuttle companies charge around $45 per person each way; Greyhound is much cheaper.  BorderLinks is glad to make arrangements with our Tucson-based transportation partner to provide transportation from the Phoenix airport or to the Phoenix at a cost of around $875 per trip per 15-passenger van.

 

Do you allow alcohol?

Absolutely not! The safety of BorderLinks delegates is a primary concern. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of injury in and around the BorderLinks building, and it increases the risk of dehydration -- a very serious risk much of the year, when the climate is very, very dry in southern Arizona. While delegates who are over the age of 21 can drink at local bars or restaurants, we highly recommend that delegates consume no alcohol at all when staying at BorderLinks.

 

If I can't drink alcohol, what should I drink?

Water, water, water. The National Park Service recommends drinking one liter (or one quart) every hour when hiking in warm, dry weather (April, May, June, September, and October, usually -- July and August are often rainy and more humid). We find that even in the air conditioned BorderLinks office, we need to consume a liter every four hours in dry months. If you don't bring a sufficient number of water bottles, BorderLinks staff will be glad to sell you one from the BorderLinks store.

 

What is the BorderLinks store?

BorderLinks store is actually a small display cabinet. It houses many items delegates may find helpful:  books about migration-related issues, some by authors who sometimes speak with BorderLinks delegations; water bottles; BorderLinks t-shirts; and a variety of odds and ends.