*An edited version of this article will be published in the Spring 2020 Union Collective Magazine
Understanding the US/Mexico Border through experiential education,
THANKS TO THE ANNUNCIATION HOUSE!
A group of EDS at Union students, staff and board members arrived at Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas on January 10th. For the six days, they participated in a “Border Awareness Experience” aimed at educating visitors on the realities of the border. This pilgrimage was a part of a semester-long focus on the experiences of immigrants and asylum-seekers, especially unaccompanied children.
We asked the participants to reflect on this experience and below are some of their responses.
What is an image that will remain with you from this pilgrimage?
Mary Barber: The image that is sticking with me from the trip is the wall itself, the steel Bollard-style structure we saw, peered through, and touched. Through it is the Anapra neighborhood of Juarez, an impoverished shantytown created by US policies that led to the flourishing of maquilas (sweatshops, most for US companies) on the Juarez side of the border. There was suffering through that wall, surely, but all the life was over there. The US side was desolate, military, dead. And it all felt so wrong, in a stark and tangible way. The image stays with me because there are borders and walls everywhere in our world. I was reminded on this trip of the fencing and razor wire that kept my patients confined inside the state psychiatric hospital where I worked for eleven years as a