In Memory of Kara Naber who died June 6, 2021

by Helena Day Myers. Border Partners Co-founder

Border Partners–along with Kara’s family and many friends–mourn her passing. We will miss her steadfast love for the Mexican people and their culture. Kara was involved with Border Partners’ activities almost from the beginning in a number of important ways.

Kara had a nose for a bargain. She often contributed items she found while shopping. Palomas Oilcloth Designs also benefited from Kara’s knowledge as a seamstress. One of Kara’s first donations was her industrial sewing machine. I remember the time she brought it to my home in Columbus to instruct some of the women how to use it before it went to Palomas. Her encouragement–plus many more machines–has created a thriving business for several Palomas women who make oilcloth bags, aprons and table cloths which sell on Etsy.

Kara was Border Partners’ first paid employee in the U.S. She worked in 2017-2018 to assist with the growing number of tasks facing Polly and Peter Edmunds who served as volunteer managers at that time. Her writing skills and fluency in Spanish were a tremendous asset to this developing non profit organization.

Kara was also a journalist. As an activist, she wrote about environmental struggles in Southern New Mexico, especially Gila River and Florida Mountains. Her writing about Border Partners is still living on the Internet.

I met Kara when she was working as an archaeology guide for the Forest Service at Mesa Verde and Gila Cliff Dwellings. She and her husband Mark Andrews lived in Columbus, NM at that time. As long time sailors in Virginia they lived in a dwelling that reminded me of a sailing vessel. Always interested in other cultures, Kara dreamed of one day living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Several years ago, she and Mark moved there. Then, her stay was cut short by illness this spring.

Following are a few memories from friends in Columbus.

I can’t think of another person I knew who went more determined through life than Kara. She never stopped learning. I will truly miss her.”

“Kara was one of the most proactive people in our area, ranging from political and environmental activism to humanitarian aid. She was creative, tireless and generous. When I met Kara almost 20 years ago, she was wearing her archeologist’s hat and that is the memory I remember her by”.

This photo of Kara, posted on Facebook by a family member, represents that image we, her friends, remember.

Kara Naber, RIP
Died June 6, 2021

Kara’s obituary is available online, offering you the opportunity to leave a message. An online slideshow of photos from Kara’s lifetime can be found HERE. Do visit the Deming Headlight’s coverage of Kara’s life and career.

Give Grandly 2018: Improve lives with resources that help

Give Grandly 2018

Join us on May 5, 2018 for Give Grandly 2018: 24 hours of giving to make our Border community stronger. Create a thriving community for all. Give Grandly 2018 brings the region together as one community. It’s a campaign to raise money and awareness for all local nonprofits during the 24-hour online giving challenge.

Your gift to us will:

  • Support family garden plots so kids can eat fresh home-grown vegetables
  • Continue health education and direct services by grassroots promotoras
  • Make sports opportunities available, keeping indoor gyms open
  • Keep kids on bikes that work because they’ve been repaired and maintained
  • And that’s just the beginning…

How to Give Grandly 2018

We need you to help us with four things:

  1. Mark Give Grandly! on your calendar for Saturday May 5 and bookmark this giving link: https://givegrandly.civicore.com/borderpartners 
  2.  Please make a donation to support us on May 5
  3.  Spread the word! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Follow the hashtags #GiveGrandly #GiveLocal to see the buzz.
  4.  Come down to the Silver City Farmers’ Market at 7th and Bullard Streets on opening day – May 5 from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm —  to meet us, other nonprofits, and learn about the great work we’re doing in this community

Give a little. Give a lot. Give Local. Give Grandly 2018!

Thank you for your support! Your interest in our work fuels our efforts. We rely on you to accomplish all we do.

Education Center hosts Mental Health Training Program for the Borderlands

mental health class

Monica Chavira, a Mental Health Consultant based in Juarez, Chihuahua, led an adult education course on mental health in February.

Monica Chavira, a Mental Health Consultant based in Juarez, Chihuahua, lead a Mental Health GAP Training February 26-27 in Puerto Palomas. Nineteen adults attended this two day training, from 9 AM to 5 PM each day.  The program was sponsored by the US-Mexico Border Health Commission and the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. All our local health promotoras participated in the training, with the addition of 13 other residents of the community.
This was a wonderful opportunity to strengthen important skills in an area that has suffered trauma for many causes, including past violence from drug and gang related causes.
“I learned how to identify people with mental disabilities and how to refer them to receive primary care.  This training will improve my ability to serve my community.”
“I learned how to identify a person with a mental disability and what risks they pose.  Other things were how to relax and be calm, how to treat an alcoholic person and how to assist anyone from our community.  I liked this training very much.”
“I learned how to listen to another person and help them identify their problems.”
The training was based on the Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings that was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), adapted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and facilitated with support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Our two-day workshop was part of a regional effort that included nine local nonprofit organizations. Overall, over 250 adults participated in the program. It focused on community and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings. It also provided community health workers basic training in mental health screening and referrals. The training also included how to monitor and follow up with people with mental illness and their families.
We’re delighted to see our new Education Center used as the site for fine adult programming like this. Strengthening mental health skills will improve the community of Palomas.