US/Mexico: Beyond Borders - Health, Labor and the Environment

April 4, 2014April 7, 2014

The contentious and often dramatic debate over immigration reform that has played out in America's streets and the halls of Congress has largely failed to address the root causes of migration.Global Exchange has a special perspective to offer travelers who want to understand Mexican migration from the inside.

On a Global Exchange Reality Tour to the US-Mexico border, participants explore the root causes of immigration and meet with a diversity of groups and individuals to hear what's happening on the immigration front line. Since 1994, more than 3,600 people have died crossing the border into the US. US immigration and border security policies like "Operation Gatekeeper" have increased human rights abuses and the number of border deaths, as migration routes are pushed farther east to remote stretches of Arizona's deserts.

The global economy also plays a significant role in this region and impacts immigration patterns. More than one million farmers lost their livelihoods when the Mexican market was flooded with American agricultural products after the passage of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Learn how NAFTA and other free trade policies have affected economic reality for millions of Mexicans and have compelled so many people to migrate to the US out of need for a job.

As a participant you will be exposed to the issues, meet the people creating change and learn the connections between different struggles such as environmental and economic justice, worker's rights, immigrant rights and human rights. The tour will also include a visit to a maquiladora (foreign-owned factory), meetings with women's rights groups, labor leaders and border patrol agents, and involve interactive sessions and small group discussions.

Please email Corina if you would like to recieve a sample itinerary for this delegation.

Teachers interested in joining the tour can get a free copy of "The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration." This book was written by and for teachers as a result of several border tours that Global Exchange organized in coordination with Rethinking Schools.

Program Highlights may include: 
  • Visit a foreign-owned maquiladora (assembly plant). Learn from plant managers about daily operations and witness working conditions from the inside
  • Go to an abandoned maquiladora site and see firsthand the environmental impacts to nearby communities
  • Learn from women's rights groups and labor leaders how women are both impacted by human rights abuses and are organizing to change their communities and advocate for the right to dignified working and living conditions
  • Visit a community on the outskirts of Tijuana that is working to build economic alternatives and a sustainable and self-reliant community government
  • Visit a shelter for migrants and learn about the economic realities that have forced people to migrate, as well as the stories of those who have been deported from the US
  • Learn more about the realities of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and how corporate globalization impacts women, migrants, the environment, and democracy on this intensive four-day experience
  • All highlights and activities subject to change, as conditions permit

Price Includes: 
  • Double-room accommodations; on-ground transportation including airport pick-up and drop-off; Global Exchange bilingual trip leader; preparatory reading and orientation materials; admission and fees to all program activities; two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • NOT INCLUDED: airfare, airport departure taxes, lunches, tips, and personal expenses. Single rooms are available for an additional $125
  • Please Note: All Global Exchange participants who arrive and depart on scheduled trip dates are guaranteed airport transportation. Please notify Program Coordinator of any special travel arrangements

How to Register: 

To register, please send in your application form and a deposit of $400. Payments by Mastercard, Visa and Discover are welcome. Deposits are non-refundable unless the trip is canceled by Global Exchange as explained below.

Please note: We must meet a minimum number of trip participants on every trip, so please register early!

To ensure that all participants can plan accordingly, the minimum number of participants must be reached within 30 days before departure, or the trip will be canceled. If the trip cancels registered participants can choose to receive a full refund or transfer to a future group. Once a trip is confirmed (reaches the minimum # of participants) registrations may be accepted up to 30 days before the departure date.

This trip will be as diverse as possible in terms of race, age and life experiences. In some cases, a limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.

We specialize in creating customized Reality Tours that are educational, fun, and positively influence international affairs. Learn more about our customized travel options.