The New Vision

St. Mary’s College students make border trip

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Photo courtesy of Jotti Aulakh. Students from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. visit a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in southern Arizona in April. Left to right, Elizabeth Palomar, Amelia Chantarotwong, Suzanne Denson, Megan O’Leary, Philip Goodwin, Margie Simone and Jotti Aulakh.

Photo courtesy of Jotti Aulakh.
Students from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. visit a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in southern Arizona in April. Left to right, Elizabeth Palomar, Amelia Chantarotwong, Suzanne Denson, Megan O’Leary, Philip Goodwin, Margie Simone and Jotti Aulakh.

By VICTOR CALDERON
The New Vision

While their colleagues around the country chose popular destinations for their spring break, a group of seven students from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. chose an “alternative spring break” experience on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border south of Tucson this past month.
The trip, held April 14-19 this year, is an annual opportunity for students at St. Mary’s to visit southern Arizona and to meet with immigrants and social service agencies.
The students were led by Sister Jodi Cecilia Min, O.P., assistant director of Lasallian Mission at St. Mary’s Mission and Ministry Center. The group heard from immigrant families, migrant workers, border patrol agents, educators and ministers, including Bishop Gerald Kicanas. They also met with members of the Jesuit-run Kino Border Initiative, that serves migrants on the border cities of Nogales in Arizona and Mexico.
“For me, immigration is a very personal issue that affects my family,” said St. Mary’s student Elizabeth Palomar, who said she has relatives from Guadalajara, Mexico. “I wanted to see what many of the immigrants go through when they cross into Arizona.”
St. Mary’s students also visited San Xavier Mission and San Miguel High School in Tucson.

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