Traditional Border Delegations are short immersion trips along the border ranging in length from 1 day to 3 weeks. These programs are designed for self-organized groups, such as students of a particular school/university or members of a church. Each year, around 70 groups participate in a traditional delegation.
During this time, you will learn directly about the situations that push people to immigrate to the U.S, and the extreme difficulties and dangers of that journey. Delegations visit with activists, academics, and community members that work to meet the needs of their communities and advocate for just policies. We also engage in role-play activities and end the day with reflection to assist you in processing your experience.
In Mexico, we visit the border cities of Nogales and Agua Prieta, Sonora. There you will meet with community organizations that are engaged in meal programs, education and economic development; and groups that provide basic assistance to migrants who are traveling to the U.S. or have recently been deported. We also meet with workers from the “maquiladoras” (assembly plants) and their families. In Nogales, you will stay in the dormitory of our sister organization – the Home of Hope and Peace (HEPAC) community center. Churches and community centers host our delegations in Agua Prieta.
Many of our delegations travel to Mexico, while others stay on the U.S. side of the border to explore the Arizona context more deeply. In the U.S., activities may include visits with humanitarian and environmental organizations, day labor centers, ranchers, academics, U.S. governmental agencies such as the Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, detention centers, and federal public defenders. We often arrange relational activities such as homestays or cooking classes with Spanish-speaking families or gatherings with local youth groups.
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Arizona State University, Lake Forest, SOA Watch, Whitman College, Unitarian Universalist Association, Duke University (Duke Engage), Portland Jesuit High School, University of Denver, Social Action Summer Institute, St. Andrews UMC, Mennonite Church USA, Murray Hills Christian Church, Los Feliz UMC
To see the complete list of our delegations, click here.