Fall 2017 Health Fair in Palomas

fall 2017 health fair

A Palomas mother brings her daugher to the Fall 2017 Health Fair in Palomas for a screening

The Promotoras (Health Promoters) in Palomas held their fall 2017 health fair on Saturday October 28. While the Promotoras work year around to provide medical screening services and education to local residents, this biannual event has proved to be a good way to bring awareness to health issues and recruit new clients by providing a fun and entertaining atmosphere.

An estimated 350 people attended Saturday’s event in the main plaza, which was vibrating with activity and color. The street was lined with booths selling craft items made from recycled materials, the health screening tent, burrito stand and a bounce house for children. Another attraction was a Matachines dance troupe from the San Judas Tadeo church in Juarez and a display of zumba dancing.

Fall 2017 Health Fair Improvements

This year, the Promotoras used a new system to encourage people to take advantage of their health screening services. After their screening, residents received a ticket they could exchange for a healthful vegetarian burrito stuffed with beans and fresh, multi-colored vegetables. With help from 15 students from the telebachillerato school, the Promotoras served 240 vegetarian burritos.

matachines

The matachines added a colorful, joyous dance to the Fall 2017 Health Fair in Palomas.

How Border Partners Makes a Difference in Puerto Palomas

staff

The Border Partners staff are forward-looking and keep their eyes on their goals.

Every day we are aware of how wonderful the staff we have in Palomas are!  Recently, Peter decided to ask them to write about what Border Partners means to them.  Their statements show the efficacy of our presence on the border. We appreciate our supporters who make that possible! With their help, life is improving for individuals and for the community.

Their responses illustrate concrete ways life has changed for the better for Palomas and its inhabitants:

Juana F: I personally benefitted from the Day One with Border Partners—both in health and economically.

Juana Flores

Health: Previously, I lived with depression and now, by working, I can keep my mind busy. Moreover, my children have had a chance to receive education, unlike me. But now I don’t feel so keenly that I am different from them.

Economically: Now I can support my children monetarily. I was able to build my little house, so I have a nice place for when my children come to visit me.

In my Palomas community: More families have changed their eating habits and eat more vegetables and live better. Through gardening they save some money for their families.

Griselda: Thanks to my employment with Border Partners, I have been able to support my children. And, I’m able to help my community by teaching good nutrition and promoting physical activity, among other things

Many people in Palomas have achieved goals due to the education opportunities and the projects that Border Partners has offered.

Juan R.: Border Partners gives me the opportunity to serve my community through my role as a Community Coordinator. I’m thankful to be part of something so great, working with an amazing group of people. And also I get to meet other outstanding individuals, such as the Board of Directors who give their valuable time and knowledge for the benefit of my community.

Juan Rascon

Border Partners’ projects have brought improvements for the elderly of Palomas. Important areas in the community–such as nutrition, gardening, physical activity, and health–are stronger due to the programs Border Partners sponsors. Border Partners also supports education.

Lunch supplement programs–such as the assistance given to Ford Elementary School students–are clearly visible and felt community-wide.

 

Adrian: Border Partners has made me a better person. I’ve learned how to help other people and feel good about it. Border Partners affected my family, too. Now my children have more public places to be physically active.

Juan: Border Partners has had an effect on me personally by helping me to improve myself and teach people in my community about their health and physical activity. My family has also improved because I have a source of employment.

The impact that Border Partners has had in Palomas is visible. Many townspeople are very grateful for the benefits they’ve received and for improvements in local health and education.

Juana LazoyaJuana: Personally, Border Partners has made an important impact: I changed my lifestyle and learned many things, especially regarding my health. Through Border Partners’ employment, I have a source of money to support my family and now I’m able to buy necessities that I could not afford before.

In my Palomas community in my career as a Border Partners project coordinator, I’ve learned skills to teach others about a healthy diet, how to live an active lifestyle, and many more important things.

 

Palomas 2017 Summer Activities

summer school 2017

Summer school was a highlight of many youth again this year.

Both kids and adults in Palomas had plenty of opportunity for fun and learning this past summer thanks to Border Partners’ creative and energetic staff.

Official shirt

Official shirt

A highlight for kids each summer is the annual summer school which this year had a new location and format. Seventy children were divided into five groups and rotated classes between the BP Education Center to learn computer skills, the greenhouses to try some gardening, the library to do art projects and learn English and then outside for some exercise. A healthy lunch completed the day.  All this was organized by our Promotoras with the help of Lee Lowder, a wonderful volunteer teacher who came for the second year this summer to help.

Summer school 2017

Friendship and fun–all part of the package.

All summer, there were tournaments and games for kids and adults at the BP Sports Center and at the public gym BP opened last year with the help of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PdNHF). For the first time, in August, the public was able to use the fields at the middle school and a new weight room also thanks to funds from the PdNHF.

Summer 2017: Well-rounded Activities 

Besides these opportunities for healthy exercise, BP staff organized several community bicycle events and began offering a regular morning exercise class which combines zumba, bench and cardio.

And there were opportunities to learn computer skills, too.  Gricelda Loya, our Education Center Director, organized and taught two classes–one on using Microsoft Office and another on Photoshop.

Hard work

Diligent work yields gains for the kids in Palomas.

Summer School Activities 2017

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Shop online and help us help others at no extra charge!

giving assistant

Use Giving Assistant to donate painlessly to improve lives on the border.

You care about our cause; and we care about YOU! Wish you could donate more easily and more often? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve teamed up with Giving Assistant to make it easier to donate. Giving Assistant is a coupon marketplace whose mission transforms the everyday shopping of millions of people into charitable action. 

Coupon Codes

Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Border Partners
Join Giving Assistant now to shop, save, and support Border Partners. Easily donate 3-30% of purchases from stores like Target (2%), Michaels (3%), and Bed Bath & Beyond (10%).

Simply sign up, select our cause, and then shop at over 2,800+ online stores. You’ll save money and earn cash back on your everyday purchases, all while making a difference. Giving Assistant helps you donate a percentage of your cash back earnings to us with every purchase. You’ll also find useful exclusive Staples coupons, as well as big savings at places like Best Buy (1%)Kmart (6%) and Old Navy (4%)!

Shop here: https://givingassistant.org/np#border-partners

Border Partners thanks supporters for Giving Grandly!

Give Grandly 2017

Mother and Child by Diane LeMarbe

Mother and Child by Diane LeMarbe

We want to thank all our supporters for their contributions to the Give Grandly! fundraising event on May 6. It was sponsored by the Grant County Community Foundation (GCCF) in partnership with the United Way.

We received 34 contributions that day, ranging from $1.00 to $3,000. The total for the day was $6,441.26. All in all, we count that as a big success!

We also want to give special thanks to artist Diana LeMarbe for donating her sculpture “Mother and Child” for the auction. All the proceeds from that sale will benefit local programming in Palomas.

We are grateful to you for making progress possible in the community of Palomas! Thanks.

Border Partners Annual Report 2016

 

ANNUAL REPORT 2016During 2016, thanks to generous support from numerous individuals and groups and the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the people of Palomas, with Border Partners’ assistance, were able to make the following much needed improvements in their community.

  • Townspeople built a dirt bike track so teens have productive activity.
  • Volunteers created a bicycle repair shop. They’ve restored 250 bikes we brought to Palomas (so far!).
  • For the first time ever townspeople have and use an indoor public recreation facility.
  • Border Partner’s gardeners and volunteer parents built new school vegetable gardens at two Palomas elementary schools.
  • Promotoras are teaching teens–in classes the teens love to attend–the skills they need to stay healthy and REMAIN in school to graduate.

Annual Report 2016–Working together also accomplished:

  • Built a second greenhouse in the community garden,
  • Began growing earthworms and produced 20 cubic yards of biochar to enrich gardens,
  • Sponsored meal delivery to four handicapped senior citizens,
  • Constructed security doors and windows on the new high school, AND
  • Installed 6 revolutionary home furnaces that produce biochar and provide free heat.
  • Began offering a monthly health screening check at the local plaza one Saturday each month.

And YES, Border Partners continued our OTHER successful programs too:

  • Sponsored soccer, volleyball and basketball tournaments for all ages at the Border Partners’ Sports Center
  • Held Spring & Fall town Health Fairs with health screenings, free haircuts, diabetes foot checks, free healthy burritos, nutrition handouts.
  • Organized our fifth annual Summer School session for local children focused on the importance of eating healthy food and getting physical activity.
  • Offered a computer skills class for adults
  • Supported 70 home gardeners with technical assistance and supplies
  • Delivered a monthly food supplement of nutritious food (value $300) for the school lunches at one of the primary schools
  • Offered a series of  nutrition classes for 40 families
  • In collaboration with the local health clinic, sponsored several community walks and bike rides.

Give Grandly! 2017 Builds the Border with Supporter Help

Give Grandly 2017

Donate to Border Partners on May 6, 2017 and your contribution will automatically double.

Border Partners will participate in Give Grandly-Give Local, an annual, nationwide fundraising event that focuses donations to local non-profits on a single giving day. Grant County Community Foundation (GCCF) spearheads the day, part of their mission to support local nonprofits.

A very generous supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, has pledged to match the first $3000 in contributions made to Border Partners. This allows our donors to double their contributions by giving on May 6, the event day. Give donations online at BorderPartners.org or at givegrandly.org on May 6 so that your contribution will be doubled.

This year, GCCF has again partnered with United Way. The groups will hold a nonprofit fair on 7th Street, next to the Silver City (NM) Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 6, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. Border Partners will manage a table at the fair.  We’ll be onsite to highlight our work, receive donations, and answer questions. Musical entertainment and free food goodies will boost the energy to give.

Special Silent Auction Item

During the nonprofit street fair, Border Partners will display the statue Mother and Child by Diana LeMarbe which is on the silent auction block. Money received from the proceeds of the auction will support programming in Puerto Palomas, improving public health and well-being. Bids will be accepted until 12:00 PM at the nonprofit fair table. The winner of the auction will be announced at 2 PM.

Anyone can donate online beginning from 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on May 6. Contributors can also use a new mobile texting app for donating via smart phones and tablets. In addition, donors can also make their tax-deductible donations to Border Partners via available computers onsite at the nonprofit fair in Silver City. Freeport, United Way, and James Edd Hughs Edward Jones are providing matching funds which further increases the donation that Border Partners will receive.

New Mexico has participated in Give Grandly since 2014. This event raised over $250,000 for area nonprofits over the past three years. GCCF does not take a percentage, so all the money goes directly to designated nonprofits.

Join us May 6 and: Give a little. Give a lot. Give local. Give Grandly! Help us make history again.

Earth Day 2017 in Palomas: A multi-faceted, meaningful celebration

Earth Day 2017 banner

Colorful flags decorated the Earth Day 2017 event, created by area school children.

On Saturday April 22 Border Partners’ staff planned, organized and hosted an Earth Day 2017 celebration in Palomas, Mexico. It was a perfect opportunity to show off many local projects that benefit the community and planet earth!  

earth day 2017

Earth Day 2017 marketplace sold plants, seeds, and lots of garden produce, among other items.

There were activities for the whole family!

The promotoras were busy serving free vegetarian burritos filled with fresh vegetables from local gardens. 

Nearby, gardening coordinator Juana Lozoya was selling bags of freshly-picked parsley, celery and chard that were grown in the community greenhouses she oversees.

Kids and adults brought their bicycles to be repaired.

There were also health screenings and haircuts, zumba and games for kids!

Posters made by local school students decorated the area!

Earth Day 2017–Special Features

In honor of Earth Day, Border Partners’ volunteers converted the golf cart used by staff to visit home gardens to solar power! Juana Flores, who often drives it, reported, “It works better than it ever did!” She was giving rides to demonstrate.

Students from two Palomas high schools used the event as an opportunity to showcase solar appliances they made with help from Border Partners staff using recycled materials. These included two solar box cookers, a water purifier and a solar water heater.  

Solar Cooker Prototype

Earth Day 2017

Daniel Maya demonstrated his prototype of a parabolic solar cooker during the Earth Day event.

Students from the prepatoria (high school) were demonstrating a parabolic solar cooker made from an old satellite dish and lined with glass pieces. Project leader, Daniel Maya said, “You can cook a pot of beans in about two hours and you save two hours of gas.” Maya said that the model on display was a prototype and they plan to make a larger version to be used at the school.

The event drew a steady crowd. People from both sides of the border enjoyed the music, ate healthful food and admired colorful, locally-made craft items. Many items were made with recycled materials: soda pop pull-tabs crocheted together became colorful handbags and old jeans were transformed into aprons.  It was a fun and educational day for all!

Enjoy the colors and the activity of the day in our Flickr album:

[FGAL id=2396]

New borderlands water research cites Border Partners

Water research

Emilie Schur (3rd from left) and the Palomas health promotoras worked together last summer to promote health water usage in Palomas.

Without water, life can’t survive. Emilie Schur, a graduate student at the University of Arizona, spent three weeks with

Emilie Schur

Emilie Schur

us in Palomas in the Summer of 2016 and additional weeks in Columbus, NM doing water research. Her goal was to learn how the border affects people’s access to safe drinking water. Now, her findings are complete. What did she learn about water security and how to improve access to water?

Water security—that means having an adequate supply of reliable, affordable, good quality water for a healthy life. Emilie’s research on water security studied the situation in Columbus and Palomas, where our border community shares a common underground water (aquifer) source. The Mimbres Basin Aquifer is large enough to serve us, but it’s contaminated by arsenic and fluoride.

Water research: Case Study

Her research showed that each local water utility adopted a distinct approach to dealing with that contamination. The different approaches developed due to their differing financial and social resources. They also reflect the various national and bi-national water policies that govern the two municipalities.

 HOUSEHOLD WATER (IN)SECURITY WITHIN A TRANSBOUNDARY AQUIFER BASIN: A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN THE US-MEXICO BORDERLANDS Executive Summary of Research Findings

Click to review the executive summary of Schur’s research

Through the years, household water security improved in both places, at least regarding water access and reliability. But, centralized water filtration technology made water harder for residents to afford in Columbus. Meanwhile, decentralized water filtration technology only partially solved the water supply contamination problem in Palomas. Thus, even though the technology improved in both places, households still remain unevenly exposed to water contamination. Emilie’s research raises concerns about issues of water equity that leaders need to consider.

One of the most significant challenges facing water policymakers, providers and users is: how to equitably provide access to clean, reliable, and affordable drinking water in communities reliant on contaminated groundwater.

Emilie’s research found two important supports to address this concern:

  1. Funding from NAFTA’s environmental side agreements

Although infrastructure improvements alone aren’t enough, she says that’s still a significant aspect of water security. It needs to be coupled with initiatives that build local capacities and promote environmental awareness about water quality concerns.

  1. Community networks

Awarding more grants to local initiatives and NGOs, like Border Partners, can improve water security, Emilie asserts.

Emilie Schur

Emilie Schur puts spotlight on water equity issues.

Her research uncovered that the Palomas promotoras were very effective at educating the households on the harmful practice of boiling tap water, which actually concentrates heavy minerals. Our local health promoters encouraged households to use water from the water purifying stations for cooking.

In Columbus, Emilie found local NGOs working to build community spaces to bridge the divide between historically marginalized Hispanic residents and Anglos.

Even with small grants, local networks could work in partnership with water utilities to address residents’ concerns about water rate changes. And, translating educational material into Spanish would help it reach a broader audience.

Border Partners, with the help of staff at NM State University, has developed a low cost, water filter suitable for home use that is in the final stage of testing. It will provide a family with safe drinking and cooking water from their tap for 6 to 12 months (depending upon volume of use) and will cost only about $30.00.

We’re proud that Emilie’s research highlights the contributions that Border Partners and other groups like us make. We’re proud of the work our promotoras are accomplishing within the Palomas community. And, we’re pleased that we were able to facilitate Emilie’s research last summer. Her borderlands research reflects her desire to create for a better future for all living beings.

Emilie’s research was made possible through research grants and fellowships from the NOAA affiliated Climate Assessment for the Southwest, The Tinker Foundation, the University of Arizona Institute of the Environment, the University of Arizona Graduate and Professional Student Council, the University of Arizona Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship, and the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers.

Alex Mueller Leads Yoga Classes in Palomas

downward dog pose

Palomas residents gain strength practicing the downward dog yoga pose.

by Helena Myers

yoga class

Enthusiastic participants of a typical yoga class in Palomas.

About 2 months ago, I asked the Palomas health promoters if they would be interested in yoga classes. Of course, the answer was “yes.”  And, they agreed that the class could involve more participants than just our small Border Partners’ staff.

Alex Mueller is a yoga master who lives in Columbus, NM. He contributes his talent and dedication to yoga classes there. Now, however, he is also going once a week to Palomas. He leads classes for Border Partners’ staff as well as other interested drop ins from the community. Juan Rascon, our translator, also participates in the class and translates for Alex.

Yoga’s health benefits

One evening a week in Palomas Alex gives classes to another citizen group. We all thank Alex for sharing his gift. Yoga keeps our bodies supple and stronger. This class series is helping people of all ages in these two border communities.

stretch

Instructor Alex Mueller, translator Juan Rascon, and Juana Flores take to the mats in Palomas, building better health.