Archive - Aug 20, 2006 - Blog entry

  • All
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31

Nogales Project

Yesterday Jessica and Stacy and I drove down to Nogales at 6 in the morning to volunteer at the No More Deaths project there. For the past couple months this summer NMD has had a presence in Nogales, Mexico, working with the Comision Estatal de Atencion a Migrantes, The State Commission for Attention to Migrants. They have a tent set up just past the border crossing at the Mariposa port, which is a port of entry mostly for trucking, a few miles outside of town.

The Border Patrol brings Mexicans (or migrants they think are Mexicans) who are being deported from the Tucson sector to this border crossing. They bring them in huge ominous looking unmarked white buses, and they make them walk across the line. Volunteers from No More Deaths are there around the clock to meet the migrants and give them water, snacks, information, and medical care if they need it.

We were there from 7am till about 1230 pm. It was a slow day compared to normal, according to other volunteers who had been there before. We had a surplus of volunteers, too. I brought a video camera and wanted to get footage, but I also wanted to have the experience of helping these people. But since it was a slow day, after I had helped with a couple bus loads, there were no other buses and so I didn't really get any footage of the migrants. I did do some interviews, but I definitely don't have enough to do anything with. However, it looks like the project will continue, and so i'll go back a few more times and shoot more. It's really a worthwhile thing to do and to document, I think.

It's very moving to see this end of the migration process. The green-uniformed Migra marching people across the line like hall monitors escorting kids in elementary school. The people, in varying states of fatigue and health and spirits, trudging towards us. The expressions of confusion and then thanks when they realize what we're doing. Practicing my spanish, asking if they want water and if they have blisters (I heard a story of a nurse who was volunteering there who didn't know spanish, she was just taught the 2 phrases "Quieres Agua? Tienes Ampollas?" (do you want water? Do you have blisters?) - But she mixed them up at one point and ended up asking if people wanted blisters and if they had water. heh) I'll post photos later on my flickr pages....

There's another similar project in Aqua Prieta, the border town across from Douglas, Arizona. NMD volunteers and local Mexican and US groups do the same thing with migrants being returned there. I want to visit there too sometime soon.

Lots of other stuff, so much other stuff, happening, here, to me and people I care about, but I'm sort of tired of blogging. Especially tired of blogging about stuff that's too personal and stressing about if it's okay to do that and what to post, etc. And I'm sort of tired and bored with blogging about the impersonal stuff. So maybe I should just stop. Or maybe I'll just blog just experiences like this one that are MY experiences, but that aren't too much about me or my friends. seems like a good compromise. yeah.