Sharing my experience as a participant in the Border Witness Program 2020

  • Source: BWP 2000 (USC Province)
  • Source: BWP 2000 (USC Province)
  • Source: BWP 2000 (USC Province)

Being at the Texas-Mexico border was an enriching, educational, and intense experience for me!

The Border Witness Program provided me with a powerful, first-hand look at the human experience at the US-Mexico border, as well as a critical, analytical look at the systemic issues contributing to the complexity of the reality of migration and immigration.  This time the program was designed to align with the Society’s international JPIC (Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation) imperatives, as articulated in the document Being Artisans of Hope in Our Blessed and Broken World

  1. Washing one another's feet:  an invitation to critically reflect on JPIC and our relationships of power 
  2. Transforming and being transformed:  advocacy that begins with soul-searching honesty 
  3. Caring for our common home 
  4. Welcoming people on the move:  walking with those who seek refuge and who hope for a better future

The staff of ARISE, a non-profit organization that works with immigrant communities, prepared an excellent program for us. I was struck by their unceasing energy, love, and enthusiasm for the poorest.

In addition to realizing even more deeply how people on the move risk everything in search of better work and a dignified way of life, I was also deeply touched by the resource persons who left a mark in me.  I cannot forget Sister Norma, who works tirelessly on behalf of migrants and asylum seekers; Sister Anne, who helps people on the move find a foothold and gives them love; and, Ligia, who works to create safe spaces for children in Honduras.

Because of them I can say that there is hope in our world, and we can make a difference! There are people who take action, who stand up for others, who don’t turn away. 

Truly, this border witness program has given me an unforgettable life experience!

Rita Pinto rscj

*** "The Stuart Center in collaboration with ARISE, a nonprofit in Alamo, Texas, hosted a four-day Border Witness Program to offer an enriching, educational and powerful experience of life on the Texas – Mexico border."  Click here to read more about this program on the USC website.  The article is in English, but the photos will speak for themselves.

*** The author, Rita Pinto RSCJ from the Province of India, was an "intern" at the UN-NGO Office when she participated in this border witness program.