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Day Five: Homeland Security, Local History

Posted by H. Mark Smith on August 9, 2017 at 12:20 AM

The diocesan director of the Office of Youth Ministry trying to hide beinnd a pole as seen through a hand-held "white heat" scope during our tour of the Border Patrol Station in Nogales, AZ.

Quote of the Day:  “They told me that if I was a man, I would have gotten the job right away.”  (Sigrid Martrejean, Primeria Alta Historical Society, Nogales)


After we packed the van first thing, we headed out to talk to the border patrol  agents where we learned the training that it took to get into the field. We listened to a presentation about the structure and organization of the Border Patrol and then got a tour of the whole facility! We started in the brief room where the agents begin their day to receive their assignments. We continued to a station where we were able to sniff their pepper spray bombs, wear the vests, look through special enhanced vision scopes, and hold some of their weapons. We then got to look through the glass into the area where they monitor the cameras out in the field. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures because the cameras are live feed. But in the past 4 years their monitor room has gotten a extreme makeover and is very impressive. We walked through the gym and workout areas to get to the enclosed areas where they temporarily held some of the migrants that needed medical attention and processing, including the huge containment cells that were used several years ago during the wave of young people migrating from Central America.. We continued to the stables where we met many very friendly horse agents.


After we went to the boarder control headquarters we went to the Pimeria Alta Museum in Nogales. There, we met up with Sigrid Martrejean, who we first met Sunday at church, and got an exclusive tour in what used to be the old fire station and town hall. The museum has a huge collection of town history artifacts. After her extensive tour of fthe museum and local history, Sigrid told us a little bit about her own background and what she has done for work in the past, including an impressive career in the State Department, stationed all over the world.  She noted that the first time she applied for the Foreign Service she was told she would have been hired if she had been a man, but that as a woman.  Several years later she tried again and by then, the Foreign Service was trying to recruit women.  She was hired and went on to serve in posts throughout the world.


After the tour we said goodbye to our Nogales host, Rodger from St. Andrews, but not before leaving with him a donation from our fundraising money to support his ministry in the arera. We promptly loaded into the van and made our way up to Tucson and ended our day with dinner at a beach themed café (in the dessert).


By the way--we are all feeling much better.


Categories: YLA 2016-17: Las Fronteras, Arizona y Mexico

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