We bring resources to address needs
Working alongside the people of Puerto Palomas, in Chihuahua, Mexico, we help border residents achieve their goals.
Our small, dynamic organization is almost entirely volunteer-run. So we can flex to accommodate changes that are inevitable when working in economically-disadvantaged areas that lack stability.
Border Partners, founded in 2008, relies on the leadership of many committed border residents who believe in the people’s power to create change. We are proud of our mission: empowering change.
Border Partners–Helping people create change!
Border Partners works primarily in the town of Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua, (population: approximately 5,000) in northern Mexico. It’s situated right across the border from Columbus and 30 miles south of Deming, both in Luna County, NM.
Even though Palomas is in a different country, it has close ties to Luna County, NM. Both share the same high desert (4,400 feet) climate with ample sunshine and little rain. The earth is sand and clay, cactus are the dominant plant species and chile peppers grow on both sides of the border. The sky is almost always blue and mountains loom in every direction.
Many of the people in Palomas have relatives in Luna County and other parts of the USA. There is no hospital in Palomas. The nearest one is in Deming so some babies are born in the USA and are, therefore, US citizens. The Deming Public Schools welcome children from Palomas who are citizens to attend their schools (the elementary in Columbus and middle school and high schools in Deming.
Where we focus our work
Area faces many challenges
In Palomas, there are no factory jobs and few other employers. The unemployment rate is estimated at 80%. There are 6-8 dental offices, 3-4 stores that sell prescription glasses and 5-6 pharmacies that cater to people who come from New Mexico for lower prices and employ a few people who are bilingual. There are no government economic development or programs offering microloans to an entrepreneur. There’s not even a bank in Palomas!
In Mexico, there are no food stamps, unemployment insurance or energy assistance. Few programs distribute food to the hungry. While there is a free government health clinic in Palomas, there’s no hospital.
Most people in Mexico have no more than 6-8 years of education. The expense of high school–about $25 per month tuition plus books, uniforms and supplies–is prohibitive for most families.
One of the reasons so many of the people in the region live in poverty is because they are paying too much for inefficient sources of energy and water. In Palomas, there is no natural gas available and little firewood, so people must use more costly propane or electricity. Many have no or inadequate heat and hot water. People don’t grow gardens because of the cost of water and poor soil.
Border Partners personnel address the needs and encourage commitment for change.
Working Together. Creating Opportunity. Changing Lives.