Day Three: St. Andrews, Nogales


We couldn't resist when we found this police cruiser parked beside our van after dinner this evening:  Women on a mission!!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “I thought the sky would look so much different here.”  (Spoken by a disillusioned migrant during his resuce on the ranch of a St. Andrews parishoner.)

Today we attended service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church here in Nogales, Arizona. We felt very welcomed by everyone in attendance. Even before the service started, we began discussing our journey thus far with the church members in the pew behind us. The Reverend Sean Carroll, S.J., a Jesuit priest who works for the Kino Border Initiative, gave the sermon. This week’s gospel was the Transfiguration story, and he discussed how we must open the eyes of our heart to be able to see God’s light in others. After the service, lunch and snacks were served and everyone sat down together to eat in the parish hall. We were surrpised and impressed to learn that this sitting down for lunch is their typical Sunday customm, and we loved the family feel of the time together.  YLA members split up among different tables to interact with the church members and hear their stories while sharing what we have experienced here. 

After lunch, The Reverend Ernie Galaz opened a forum with us and the members of the church about the Border. Val and Jenna introduced our group and our mission here and shared our (very positive) experiences in Nogales so far. A woman named Sigrid, whose family has lived in Nogales on both sides of the border for several generations, told us stories about what it was like living on the border as a child and how different the border is now. Another woman named Clair described how she has offered food and money to migrants passing her home. Others shared their stories as well. Almost everyone mentioned how Nogales on both sides of the border used to be one connected city, that relations were peaceful and the border was open and seemed more like a line into another town or state. They expressed dismay about the hostility that current protection of the border in Nogales has created.  They also urged us to stress to the folks back home that despite the images often cast in the media, Nogales is a very safe, peaceful city--on both sides of "the line."