Humphrey Scholars visit the U.S.-Mexico border

We started our trip at 6am with a visit to Chairman Austin G. Nunez of the Tohono O’Odham nation in the San Xavier district. The beautiful San Xavier mission is a favorite for scholars, even though we literally had 15 minutes to visit the historical Southern Ariz. church.

Our second stop was visiting Pierson High School in Nogales, Ariz. where we first heard from principal Joel Kramer and then from Sheriff Tony Estrada who interestingly enough has won as many elections as Sheriff Arpaio though running on a completely different platform on immigration and enforcement which would be expected with his position on the border.

Photo by Deanna Dent

After hearing from the Sheriff we were spoken to by DHS officers Jesus Lozania and Brian McNulty before being given a tour of the Nogales port of entry by officer Badillo. We returned to the high school for a final visit with US consul general of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico Christopher Teal. At the end of the day we had dinner at Wisdom’s cafe in Tubac, Ariz. and bought some girl scout cookies.

Photo by Deanna Dent

Photo by Deanna Dent


This past weekend I went to Casa de Elizabeth along with my sister Laura to say hi to some of the children. I visited them for three days before leaving for Sudan in December of 2009 and after only a year the kids seem to have grown so much. Some of them I’ve been seeing since July of 2006 . . .

Natan, in the center, was an infant in 2006 and now he talks and plays and rides bikes . . . Diana, who is holding him in her lap, is in the photo below shot in 2008:

And when we all drew together Natan made this:

This guy and I drew a ship in a storm . . . sharks were my idea, pirates his:

Here is Jesus around 2008 and the second photo shot nearly two years later:

And here were the other drawings from the day . . . :

I love visiting Imuris and the kids at Casa de Elizabeth and I only hope that I get the opportunity to see them again soon. Below is my sister helping paint a balloon face and a couple of random images of the kid and two notes give to me from 2007:


First visit, or at least real time spent in Tijuana rather than commuting to and from the airport. I don’t know what to make of the city. We went from a starbucks in the Rio zona to the “wall” that comprises the U.S.-Mexico border along the beach and ended up at a boxing match framed by the entrance arc to Revolucion (The main tourist drag).

I think border towns are interesting, unique places unto themselves which could not be categorized as being 100% one country or another. What I hate about them is the desperation and need that comes with a country of immense need sharing a border with a country that has little need, only wants.

Here are a couple of pics that I liked, but I’ll add more later.