Some of the Partners You Will Visit on the United States Mexico Border
Project Puente offers a border immersion program, focusing on the issues of global economics and immigration. With these topics occupying the spotlight in public and political debate, it is more important than ever that US citizens witness a reality affected by our policies and lifestyles. We call ourselves Project Puente because we view our work as that of building bridges between people in the hopes of working toward a more just world.
As Christians, our reality cannot be separated from the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Border Immersion Experience can be considered a reverse mission trip because the border and its people will teach and minister to your group. When you return home, you will have the opportunity to share with others that which you receive on the border.Our program educates participants about border issues through shared learning, experience, work, and prayer.
Carmen, Cristo Rey Iglesia Luterano
“Our governments have put borders between us, but we are brothers and sisters”
The Annunciation House, also referred to as “the house of stories”, serves as a safe house for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers who have just crossed the border and are beginning their northern journey. You will tour Annunciation House and listen to stories unlike any you've heard before. In fact, you may be compelled to come back as a volunteer in the future.
Ruben Garcia, Annunciation House
“It is difficult to speak to our own culture when you get a cloud of ignorance back in return.”
Iliana Holguin, Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Service Center
“One thing I would like to change is the lack of understanding regarding immigration issues.”
The Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Service Center (DMRS) is the largest provider of low cost legal services in the New Mexico – Texas area. It serves 45,000 to 50,000 clients annually, including telephone calls and walk-ins. DMRS has 21 staff members, six accredited representatives, and is comprised of six units and 21 staff members. You will visit their center and learn what it is like to help newcomers with their myriad legal issues.
Cristina Estrada, School [Biblioteca Infantil]
“My story is a beautiful story of change from a little bit of hope and a great bit of faith.”
After suffering an accident at the maquila factory where she worked, Ms. Estrada was unable to work. Father Bill, a community fixture, confronted her and together they worked on creating a school that would be a sanctuary [safe place?] for children as well as a place to learn. She developed into a Social worker as a result of the school. She started the school for 20 kids in her home. Today, the school [Biblioteca Infantil] serves 145 students four days a week. Last year, six students graduated high school and three plan to attend college. Ms. Estrada emphasizes that the school has “brought much fruit into this community and has offered the greatest inheritance to the children”. In addition to working with students, Christina has become like a social worker in the community. Through [Biblioteca Infantil] she works with parents to strengthen the value of education as well as offering a safe space for the children.
I am Dr. San Juana Mendoza.
I was born and raised here in Mexico.
Eventually I went to the University in Mexico City and became a doctor.
Some time ago I came to visit the city of Juarez.
Here we visited the great area that was the city garbage dump.
There were heaps…. mountains of garbage….
and many, many people and children
sorting through all of the refuse that the trucks brought there.
They explained that one man and his helpers
had bought the right
to collect the usable produce that was thrown away.
He could take that out to be resold or fed to his pigs.
The rest of the garbage was left for the poorer people to sort through.
They took out the bits of things they could eat
and sorted out things that could be recycled
the cans, the cardboard, the plastic .........
Hear the rest of Dr. Mendoza's story when you volunteer your time talking to the women and children at the Cristo Rey Primary Care Clinic.