​Young adult participants and adult leaders of the 2022 Youth Venture/MCC Borderlands learning tour. Photo provided.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The borderlands learning tour started on July 15. From then until the 17, the participants spent time learning about the complexities of the immigration system in preparation to go to the border later that week.

Sunset in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Tucson, Arizona, where the trip began.

On July 18, the group spent time at the border wall in Douglas, Arizona. They visited with staff from Frontera de Cristo through the wall. They read scripture together, learned about their work, and prayed for each other.

On the 19th, the group participated in a cross-planting ceremony in memory of Kevin Lopez Torres, who died of thirst earlier this year while attempting to cross the desert.

Later that evening, the group participated in a prayer vigil in recognizing the thousands of migrants who have died in the desert. As the names of those lost were read, the group responded with "presente," in remembrance and recognition of their lives.


On the 20th, the group traveled back to Tucson and visited with artist Alvaro Enciso and learned about his work of planting crosses in the desert where migrants have died. Nearly 4000 migrants have died in the last 20 years. Enciso has placed around 1400 crosses.

He led the group in an activity of writing the names of women who have died, encouraging the group to remember each of them as they wrote their names.


On the 21st, the group spent the day at Casa Alitas, a shelter for migrants seeking asylum. They prepared some rooms for those who would be coming in later in the day, played with the children, and a pop up hair salon emerged! Their hearts were broken by some of the stories they heard but also warmed by the stories of courage and hope.

That evening, they had a Bolivian food cooking lesson from Ale, an immigrant from Bolivia! New skills were learned, new tastes were explored, and a delicious meal was delightfully enjoyed by all.

 

 

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