We hosted journalist Morgan Smith on his September visit to the US Mexico border. With pride, we point you to his column reporting on what he saw and learned. It’s entitled “Humanitarians quietly making a difference on the border” which appeared in the El Paso Times. His section on our work in Palomas is excerpted from the article (below).
Making a Difference on the Border
On Monday morning, Labor Day, we walk across the border at Palomas for the highlight of our tour, which is a visit with Border Partners. The nonprofit was organized in November 2008 and plays a dominant role in Palomas and the surrounding area with a huge array of programs including:
- Training “promotoras” who can provide basic medical care, particularly for pregnant women
- Health fairs and exercise classes
- Providing masks and school supplies for students
- A home garden program
- The installation of computers in schools and computer classes
- Delivering hot meals to isolated seniors and the disabled.
We meet Juan Rascón, their Palomas representative, and Melissa Reyes, the general manager, as they and their staff are loading three trucks for a delivery of food to three tiny towns to the south: El Modelo, El Entronque and Victoria.
Twice a month they make the trip, bringing 100 containers loaded with basics like potatoes, beans, noodles, eggs, flour, instant milk, toilet paper, cans of barley for soup and hand wipes. This time they also have school supplies and T-shirts for the kids.
Our truck goes to El Entronque where a line of recipients has formed, all wearing masks. It’s an emotional moment as Border Partners fills in for a government that is absent.
There are powerful humanitarian forces along the border, including the volunteers who are helping Pedro in Hatch recover from his fall, the young teacher who runs the Tarahumara school, Dulce and Viri at Vision in Action, and Melissa and Juan and their leadership at Border Partners.
They may not make the headlines, but they do make an enormous difference in the lives of those who live along the border.