- Who should go on a border trip?
- How long is the trip?
- Where do you go?
- What do you do on the trip?
- How much does it cost?
- Why should I care about what happens on the border?
- Should I join your group or get a group of my own together?
- I am interested in meeting people who are working in the same field as I am. Can you accommodate that interest?
A: We suggest that anyone 16 and over would be a good candidate for our immersion trips. This can be a family event as you all see and experience life just across our southern border. There is a moderate amount of walking required through dusty areas.
Q. How long is the trip?
A. Trips are usually 9-10 days in length--Saturday through Saturday or Sunday.
Q. Where do you go?
A. We work with our border partners in El Paso, Texas and Juarez City, Mexico to put together a trip to suit your needs. We also do this in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas/Mexico near McAllen, Texas. We are also putting together a trip to Honduras to look at fair trade cooperatives and see how we can strengthen our relationships with them. Therefore, we are often expanding our repertoire of trips to meet the needs of our delegations.
Q. What do you do on a trip?
A. We fly to our destination, get settled in our comfortable accommodations, and buy our food for the week. We cook together. Then, we meet for daily reflection once in the morning and once before bedtime. In the mornings we make breakfast, have devotions, pray, and talk about the plan for the day. Then, depending on the plan, we pile in the van and go to our next location for our volunteer activity or our learning experience.
One day may be spent at the Legal Aid office, the next day in Juarez meeting with a family who is working hard to make it and not get pulled north, the next day at the Annunciation House, and so on. Depending on the trip, we may spend several days volunteering our time and energies at a local clinic, with a Vacation Bible School, or putting in a community garden. Just depends!
At the end of the day, we cook our dinner and eat together. Then, a local expert may drop by to talk to us about global economics, immigration law, or church life on the border. We end the day with brief reflection and prayer. Then, sleep! (after a snack or two)
Q. How much does the trip cost?
A..The trips cost between $950-$995 per trip plus airfare. The cost varies according to destination and other factors. The fees cover all on-site food, housing, program costs, transportation, and speakers. Trinkets and airfare are the delegate's responsibility.
Q. Why should I care what happens on the border?
A. Sometimes it seems that the southern border is a long ways away from those of us who live up by the Canadian border. Actually, immigration is part of all of us, regardless of where our ancestors came from. There is a push-pull relationship with our southern neighbors. They are pushed out of their lands and countries to look for work opportunities. They are pulled here where there are more plentiful jobs. The Red River Valley of the North is home to hundreds of people who once called Mexico, El Salvador, or even Guatemala home. The Bible is very clear in Leviticus 19 (and several other passages) that we are to treat the alien among us as a citizen. In other words, the newcomer is vulnerable and often alone--just like the widow or fatherless--and we are called to treat the newcomer with all due respect and dignity as we would someone who was born here.
Q. Should I join your group or get a group of my own together?
A. This one is up to you. If you join one of our established groups, you will get to meet new people and work side by side with new friends. If you put together a group of your own friends, you will already be comfortable with that group's dynamics AND you can better tailor the program to fit your group's inclinations.
Q. I am interested in meeting people who are working in the same field as I am. Can you accommodate that interest?
A. Sometimes we can. Just talk to us! We have extensive contacts on the southern border and within other Central American countries (from which the United States receives several immigrants) and can often set up a trip with like-minded individuals who have a certain itinerary in mind. All of our trips focus on direct relationships with the people involved and in working side-by-side with our hosts.