The ARISE Border Witness Program
"Borders can be viewed as solid walls that limit, confine and separate. Borders between cultures, races, nations, sexes and classes may function to keep people divided from one another... On the other hand, borders can be seen as meeting-places that offer a unique opportunity for encounter, dialogue and sharing. They may serve as the place of interface between peoples, ideas, and experiences."
-Patricia J Lloyd- Sidle "Called to be Border: A Paradigm for Mission", 1989
Hands Across the Border: ARISE, other organizations from USA and Mexico, and individuals join together; united along the Border crossing that connects Texas with Mexico.
The Rio Grande marks the division between the US and Latin America, a division often beset by conflict and misunderstanding. However, the Rio Grande has been a meeting place as well as a dividing line. It is a place where the US and Latin America blend language and culture, a place where global neighbors interact.
The Border Witness Program hosts educational tours of the Rio Grande Valley, learning about issues such as free trade, political asylum for refugees, and the health and environment along the RGV. They visit refugee shelters, detention centers, colonias, and other organizations along the border. Through direct and personal contact, delegations learn the stories of the people and communities facing poverty, oppression and the challenges of living on the frontera.
For information about the ABW program or inquiries regarding reservation requests contact us at (956) 783-6959 or at email@example.com.
The Mission of Border Witness
Border Witness works as a bridge that connects the reality of the people living in the Rio Grande Valley with those who wish to understand it.
It is the Mission of the Border Witness:
to assist people in understanding the reality of the border (the struggles, achievements, and challenges- economic, social, cultural, spiritual) through direct experience and personal contact;
to give voice to the people, families, and communities who struggle to surmount oppression and assert their dignity;
to serve as an educational resource in building capacity by opening eyes, studying the reality and the system that perpetuates it, and promoting action in the issues that face the community.
Border Witness works as a bridge between people facilitating the understanding of the struggles and strengths of the border community. Therefore each educational experience is developed with three important guides- listening to the voice of the people at the grassroots, seeing reality through personal contact, and creating space for questions, analysis, and reflection.
Each title below represents an educational module addressing an important border issue. A model includes an introduction to basic concepts, visits with people directly experiencing and working in the issue, experiential activities, discussion, and reflection. Each module is designed to fill one 8 hour day but can be expanded or reduced to the needs of each delegation. Using the themes, Border Witness staff will design an eduational program to provide a comprehensive and challenging experience of the reality of the border and that of its people.
Border Realities on Both Sides of the Rio
Introduction to the unique culture, history and present day struggles of the Rio Grande Valley and the US/Mexico Border.
Crossing the Frontier: Immigration: Search and Struggle
Learn about present immigrant trends, US policy, legal advocacy
Tour INS detention facility; talk to Border Patrol
Learn about the militarization of the Border; Abuses by law enforcement
Meet refugees seeking asylum & immigrants who recently crossed
NAFTA, the Global Economy, and Economic Development on the Border
Introduction to Free Trade and the Economic Development Stratgies of US and Mexico
Observe economic and living conditions for workers
Civil Rights and Struggle: Injustice in the United States
Migrant Workers and the United Farm Workers
Poverty in a Super-Power
Healthcare and Health Education
Colonias: Housing, Health, and Community
Welfare, Self-sufficiency, and Basic Needs
A Day in the Life of an Immigrant Woman
Meet Women who migrated to northern Mexico to improve their families chances at survival
Learn about the specific dangers women face when attempting to cross the border
Listen stories about immigrant women in the US and advocacy efforts to help them
Other Important Themes
The Role of Christian Churches along the border
Culture and Identity
ARISE Border Witness groups ordinarily consist of 5 to 20 persons with a minumum of 5 people. For more information regarding program schedules and fees please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you in the Valley!