Tag Archives: Mexican Border

Thanksgiving in May

Today is Tuesday, the 24th of May. Joanna took us to the Kino Border Initiative’s humanitarian shelter for women migrants, Casa Nazaret. We met women and children who had been staying in an apartment room on the top floor of a rickety old building. As we reached the top, we were greeted with grins and giggles by the families seeking shelter.

We listened to a presentation about the people who the Casa Nazaret served. I learned that the Border Patrol has a program that is aimed to interrupt migration routes by separating families traveling together. This makes families more vulnerable in an infinite amount of ways.

A fact that left me bewildered was that 75% of these women have had less than a middle school education.

How could this be when I have had the privilege of attending an all-girls private, college preparatory school. I had a flashback of all the things I had learned there and how much I had developed into a confident, independent, thinking leader.

I asked Joanna why this was. She said that even though education was free, families still had to provide money for books and uniforms and transportation. Most families can barely even afford their children taking time off of work to attend school. Since the education for women is so low, it becomes harder as they grow older to find work. Weavings of Hope is a program that provides women with the opportunity to have some sort of income by making bracelets.

Women are able to weave bracelets and sell them as a way to make money. The process of making these bracelets is meditative and can also have a huge impact psychologically.
Women are able to weave bracelets and sell them as a way to make money. The process of making these bracelets is meditative and can also have a huge impact psychologically.

After the presentation, I read testimonial after testimonial of women who had passed through Casa Nazaret. I found the main thing that tied a lot of the stories together was family.

I remember one story about a woman who had grown up in a family where she had been neglected simply because she had been born with the wrong set of chromosomes. She was abused both physically and mentally in the most crucial stages of her life. As she started to have children of her own, she made a promise to herself to never expose her children to the hardships she had known growing up. She crossed the border illegally and had four children in America, a place where she could receive aid and her children could receive an adequate education.

One day, she had been driving her daughter to an appointment. She was pulled over, handcuffed, and taken to be detained right in front of her daughter. She had no time to gather her things or say goodbye to her husband or her children. This women was deported back to Mexico, miles away from the loves of her life. But how could she call her children and explain why she had to leave?

At the end of today, I am thankful. I am thankful for the opportunity of not only an education, but one that celebrates what being a women means. I am thankful to have been able to focus on my studies rather than having to work all of the time at a young age. I am thankful for having job opportunities that provide me with more than $4 at the end of my shift. I’m thankful for the nurturing family that continues to care about my whole well being and supports me.

The Intent Behind the Camera

You’re surfing through Netflix after finishing your binge session one of your favorite TV shows; given the fact that this show has just come to an end, you’re devastated and in need for something else to occupy your time. But you want to try something else before you dive into another series, something different. You scroll down the list of shows and categories, and you hit the Documentaries section. “Alright,” you think to yourself, “I could try to inform myself on something.” So you pick one that seems interesting to you, say, something about killer whales in an amusement park. You finish the documentary, and you’re now left to your thoughts on the film and the issues it presented.

How did the film make you feel? Did you learn new things from it that you otherwise would have never known about before? Did it make you want to inform yourself more about the issue at hand and do something about it? Overall, did the film leave a lasting impression on you? If someone is able to answer any of these positively, then the documentary did its job well.

This summer, a handful of students, Creighton University faculty and staff members and I are on a journey to Arizona and Mexico in an effort to make a informative documentary about the lives of migrant workers and how the politics of immigration affect their lives. We’ll be working with the Kino Border Initiative and interviewing those who are affected by immigration policies to learn about their stories and their lives altogether. Through this pilgrimage to the South, our hope is to raise awareness on the issues of laws pertaining to immigration, and the impact it has on those these laws are directed at.

Kino Border Initiative Cafetiera
A cafeteria located at the Kino Border Initiative, where we’ll be going for service and interviews.

Being a graphic design major in the Journalism, Media and Computing department, I’m able to experience and learn about things outside of the field of graphic design, like journalism, film, and so on. I’ve learned to develop an appreciation for these other fields, especially when it comes to film and documentaries. I love the idea of being able to tell a story through photos and video, and really respect those who have put their heart and soul into films with the intent of informing others about certain issues that they care about.

I am really looking forward to this trip with my peers and faculty members down to Arizona and Mexico, and am very excited to listen to the stories of those we’ll be talking to, and making their message heard through the documentary we will put together. Given the heated debates that surround the topic of immigration, especially during this election season this year, it will be and insightful experience to create an informational film to present the issues through the perspective of those that are affected by it.

Hopefully those of you who are reading these blogs throughout our trip, not only by me but from my peers as well, will become interested in our journey and continue to follow along and learn with us!