Day Two: Nogales, Sonora (Mexico)

Metal sculpture installed on the Mexican side of the fence in Nogales, depicting life in Las Fronteras in ancient times and modern times.

Quote of the day: “Juntos hacemos camino al audar (together we walk the way)”

Today was our first full day in Nogales! We started our day with a stop at the Mueso de Arte de Mexico (Nogales, Mexico; in the borderlands). There we met with Guadalupe Serrano, the director of the museum and a well-known Mexican artist. He spoke of the importance of art expression in the border lands through murals, painting, and sculptures. Next, we went to a basilica in Nogales, where we met and talked with the priest about the food program they run. After that we walked around around downtown Nogales and stopped at the vigil of Jose Antonio, a 16-year-old boy who in 2012 was killed on the Mexican side of the fence by gunfire shot by US border patrol officers on the US side. After paying our respects to Jose, we made our way over to the Hogar de Esperanza y Paz (Home of Hope and Peace) where they give the people of Nogales values, education, shelter, and life skills. There we met Mario and Tito, people who volunteer at the center. They gave us a presentation on what goes on there daily. After we toured around the center we stopped for a late lunch at Café Leo’s. Following our delicious meal we shopped around in local markets where we bought many souvenirs. Lastly, we visited the Albergue Para Migrantes de San Bosco, a shelter for migrants that either got deported or are planning on crossing the border. We met some of the migrants and they shared their stories and the harsh and deadly reality of trying to cross the border and desert. We were moved by their stories, and they were moved that we had come all the way from Massachusetts to hear them. After meeting some migrants we met Juan Francisco Loureiro Herrerera, the founderr and director of the center and he talked about how he started the shelter. As one of our pilgrims remarked, "I think I just met my new hero."  Then we headed back to Nogales Arizona to worship and get some very badly needed rest—it was a great day, but a very, very full day.