Bridging the Gap: July 19

We spent the morning at San Xavier Mission, a Tohono Odom Native reservation, visiting the sacred sites and eating traditional chile rojo and sweet frybread.

Today we met the Kino teens who volunteer at the Comedor, hosting them for a bonfire at the Ranchito. These teens are either first or second generation migrantes. I met two sisters who live in Mexico and cross the border everyday to go to school in Arizona. They are not full citizens, but they will be granted citizenship in five years. This amazed me that there are children and teens out there that commute from one country to go to school in another. I was impressed by their strength, and the risks they take for their education. In our conversations I felt myself immediately opening up and being my natural self.

In their Mexican hometown, they face gunshots, drug cartels, discrimination, violence and fear. It is amazing that they have acclimated to this environment, whereas for us this has been a culture shock. It meant alot to connect with people our own age whose actual lives are defined by the border issues, and until this week, for us, border issues have been merely newsheadlines.

Although we are from two different worlds, we were able to find a common ground and share our stories and experiences.

(Student journal)

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