May 31 to June 7, 2019
They will then drive to the small California town of Jacumba, where they will be able to directly experience the harsh desert landscape that migrants confront when attempting to cross the border. After a night at a local church and a short hike along the border wall, the group will return to San Diego to visit the U.S. side of Friendship Park, which is situated where the border meets the Pacific Ocean. After learning about the history of this unique state park, participants may be able to work on a bi-national garden near where families who have been separated by deportation or differences in citizenship are allowed to meet briefly each weekend through a closely monitored section of the border fence.
After their initial exposure to the border region from the U.S. side, the group will drive to Tijuana where they will begin working directly with several non-profit organization who are addressing the significant challenges that aspiring migrants, asylum seekers, and the recently deported face as they seek stability and safety in their lives. An evening will be spent hearing the personal stories of women associated with Madres Deportadas y Familias en Accion, an organization dedicated to supporting people navigating the tough transitions they face after being deported or while seeking asylum. The group will then spend a couple mornings serving breakfast at El Desayunador and potentially facilitating enrichment activities for the children who receive services there. The group will also volunteer at Casa del Migrante, a shelter and support center for men. Through these activities and visits to additional cultural sites, participants will be exposed to issues of globalization and migration, human rights across borders, and race and racism as they discuss practical and democratic solutions to the complex debates that animate the region.
Madres y Familias Deportadas en Accion strives to connect people along the San Diego/Tijuana border region by fostering relations through community service, education, collaboration and cultural exchange. To learn more, please visit their website.
The group will volunteer with three different organizations, Madres y Familias Deportadas en Accion, Casa del Migrante, and El Desayunador, to learn more about how each is supporting migrants at the border.
Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (about 60 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and facilitate discussions.
While in Jacumba, the group will take a short hike in the desert along the border. The group will also spend time exploring various cultural sites on foot. However, these activities only require short walks.
The group will spend the first night at a church in Jacumba. While in Tijuana, they will stay in a simple hotel. They will also spend an evening in shared rooms at Casa del Migrante.
After arriving in San Diego, the group will drive for about 90 minutes to the small town of Jacumba. After an evening and morning there, they will spend the remainder of their time in Tijuana and San Diego.
Although the group will meet with multiple non-profit leaders and their beneficiaries, they do not stay in the homes of individual families.
The group will spend a majority of their time exploring different neighborhoods in San Diego and Tijuana. One evening will be spent in the small town of Jacumba, California.