A volunteer peeks at new Border Partners activity

Billie Greenwood

Border Partners volunteer Billie Greenwood pauses for the camera while managing a table to inform the public about the organization.

“It’s been another busy week in Palomas, Mexico for Border Partners,” to paraphrase Garrison Keillor’s weekly monologue on A Prairie Home Companion. I normally volunteer with Border Partners’ projects on the U.S. side, but on my recent visit to Palomas I surveyed lots of new, developing activity.

I started my day at the rather new Women’s Study Group, a popular education project that meets twice a month–bilingually. The women had a great time improving their languages, monitoring their health, and sharing with one another in a supportive environment.

They made me feel right at home. I’ll bring you photos and recount that initiative soon. In a related new development: that group met next door to the building that the town of Palomas is going to allow Border Partners to use as a new adult learning center in town. At a recent meeting to organize classes there, a whopping 25 townspeople attended. The town is excited at this new venture.

Next I whisked over to Luis’ burrito kitchen to see the team in action preparing some of the 300 burritos they make every school day to help students that teachers identified as “hungry” start their school day off on the right footing. I even got to go along with the delivery crew and watch the students file in for those burritos. They disappeared in a flash. Please donate to keep that worthwhile program alive, if you can.

I also visited the new fiber cement operation to watch the bricks be unmolded. This budding new business could bring improved building technology and new jobs to Palomas. They already had hundreds of bricks drying in the sun there.

For lunch, we stopped at one of the city parks that Border Partners is helping the citizens renovate. We took burritos “to go” and ate them in the park gazebo, seeing for ourselves that–except for that gazebo–there are only trees in the park. Even the park benches around the perimeter face outward, limiting conversation and interaction. The locals have lots of ideas of how to add equipment to engage the children. Let’s watch and see what develops there.

It’s spring, and time to replant the gardens for the next cycle of crops! We stopped by one to see the amazing growth and also to take “before” photos where the new greenhouse is going to be build (from fiber cement bricks, of course!). I even tiptoed across the aged manure that is ready to be spaded into the desert soil. Border Partners found, arranged and delivered this revitilizing commodity this winter.

Polly and Peter, the Border Partners co-directors, also invited me to one of their outreach efforts: a Sunday forum at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Las Cruces, NM. They held the group there rapt with the stories and images they shared about the many good things that are happening. And the Palomas Oilcloth Designs product sale was really successful too, thanks to the congregation’s patronage.

That’s just a smattering of the action that is bubbling up on both sides of the border. I hope you’ll return to this website often to stay posted on the all these developing events. You are an important element in everything that happens with Border Partners! Thanks for your involvement and support.

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