Walking in the footsteps of warriors

Yesterday we made our way up to Tucson. We interviewed a lady named Isabel who had quite a lot to say. She was a public attorney for 37 years. After her interview she took us to shrine in a neighborhood and it was a really unique experience. Then we went to IN-N-OUT burger. I’m not going to lie, I think that IN-N-OUT is pretty overrated. Some of us came to the conclusion that it’s over hyped because it’s only in the south.

Shrine in Tucson, Arizona
Shrine in Tucson, Arizona

Later that day Carol, Nichole, and I went to Phoenix to pick up a lady that we are interviewing down in Nogales.  There and back it was 7 hours in a car on top of the 3 hours earlier in the day.  It was a fun car ride though and it was great getting to know everyone better.

Today, after my 5 hours of sleep, we set off to meet a man who took us along a migrant trail. We hiked for about 4 hours and the experience was unreal. He is a part of No More Deaths and they set out water and beans along the migrant trails. The focal point of the journey was a small shrine where migrants who are crossing the border put rosaries and pictures to commemorate and pray.  I couldn’t help myself to just walk in silence the whole time back.  I couldn’t imagine walking those “trails” in 100 plus degree heat while being afraid of someone chasing you.  These migrants are true warriors.  Their strength is incredible and the hearts are filled with faith. This experience is one of my most memorable so far and it’s hard to put into words.

Migrant Shrine
Migrant Shrine

Later this afternoon we met up with Luis Parra, an attorney in Nogales, Arizona. He is currently working on a high profile case that will likely make it to the Supreme Court. The case involves a US border agent fatally shooting a Mexican kid on the Mexico side through the wall. The victims name is Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. Luis took us to the site and explained everything. It was quite a sight to be able to hear from the family’s attorney what happened. I really enjoyed Luis’ company. We talked while we were walking around Nogales, Sonora and we also sat next to each other at dinner.

I just got back from picking Nico up at a Burger King in downtown Nogales.  He went back to Omaha for a wedding and his shuttle from Tucson just arrived in Nogales.  No better way to end the night than picking up my brother man!

5 thoughts on “Walking in the footsteps of warriors

  1. Hi AJ:
    It looks like you had some incredible experiences today. It shows that no matter what challenges we face in life, God is the center of it. Faith is integral to believing God has a plan for us and He is always at our side, whether we hike the death trail or meet the person defending the rights of another. God bless you, your fellow travelers, and all those you meet along the way.

  2. A.J., I agree that they are warriors. Even though I didn’t go on the walk, your blog helps me imagine that powerful experience.

  3. Until one walks in the footsteps of these WARRIORS, do we understand the pain and sorrow. They BELIEVE that someday the barriers will be broken. They BELIEVE in God!

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