Border Immersion FAQs

What is BSC?
How are BSC Border Immersions different from other immersions?
Do BSC Border Immersions have a spirituality component?
How do I schedule an immersion?
Is a deposit required?
What is the payment schedule?
What is the typical time frame for an immersion?
How many hours is each day?
Where do participants stay?
What do participants eat?
What do participants use for transportation purposes?
Are participants required to be U.S. citizens?
Do participants need to speak English and/or Spanish?
Is there an age limit?
Is there a limited number of participants?
Are participants required to have health insurance?
What should I bring?
Are participants allowed to bring animals?
Do participants in the BSC Border Immersion experience México?
Will participants be safe?
Do you have publicity information?
What do most participants do after their experience?
I have more questions. Who should I contact?

What is BSC?

Border Servant Corps (BSC) hosts full-time volunteers that live in intentional community, learn about living simply, work for social justice, and explore spirituality on the U.S. / México border. Volunteers work with issues such as poverty, immigration, domestic violence, education, and health care with opportunities to work in churches, shelters, legal centers, after-school programs, clinics, and more!

BSC was founded in 1997 by Dot Quaintance, a retiree and member of Peace Lutheran Church in Las Cruces, NM. Since its inception, more than 100 volunteers have participated in the Border Servant Corps experience. For more complete information, see BSC History.

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How are BSC Border Immersions different from other immersions?

BSC offers programming surrounding four tenets that helps shape an immersion on the border. Local social justice organizations that host BSC Yearlong Volunteers provide insight about the border and inform each experience.

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Do BSC Border Immersions have a spirituality component?

BSC provides immersions in the context of the border; spirituality of the region is addressed within this context. Programming may include daily litanies, Bible studies, and reflections for groups that express interest.

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How do I schedule an immersion?

To inquire about or schedule a BSC Border Immersion, contact Border Servant Corps.

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Is a deposit required?

BSC requires a $200.00 deposit in order to secure a group’s placement in the schedule. The deposit is applied toward the total.

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What is the payment schedule?

BSC requires a $200.00 deposit, applied toward the total, in order to secure a group’s placement in the schedule. The remaining balance is due two weeks before the group’s arrival.

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What is the typical time frame for an immersion?

Long-term (6-7 days) immersion groups typically arrive Saturday afternoon or evening and depart Friday morning.

Short-term (3-4 days) immersions typically include the 1-2 working days, plus the weekend.

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How many hours is each day?

Immersions are typically physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. Mornings begin around 8:00 a.m. and processing happens during the evening hours. For this reason, breaks are built into each schedule in order to allow participants some respite during the day.

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Where do participants stay?

Participants stay at Peace Lutheran Church (Las Cruces, NM). Cots, air mattresses, and bedding are provided. Shower facilities are available for participant’s use.

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What do participants eat?

Participants are able to choose from a variety of meal options, including having all meals provided by BSC or requesting that BSC provide only a portion of the meals. No matter the meal option chosen, participants will have many opportunities to enjoy the regional cuisine!

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What do participants use for transportation purposes?

Each participant is responsible for their own travel to and from the border region, at their own cost. During the immersion, a van rental can either be included in the overall cost by BSC or groups can choose to finance the rental separately.

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Are participants required to be U.S. citizens?

Participants are not required to be U.S. citizens, but non-U.S. citizens must secure their own visa.

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Do participants need to speak English and/or Spanish?

No. Translators will be provided for the entire experience.

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Is there an age limit?

BSC encourages participants to be at least in middle school due to the nature of the information provided throughout the experience. Each immersion will be designed specifically for the participating age group.

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Is there a limited number of participants?

BSC groups typically range from 10-14 participants. Larger groups are accepted, with the understanding that intentional processing becomes more important as numbers increase.

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Are participants required to have insurance?

Participants are not required to have health insurance during the immersion; however, all health-related costs incurred during the week are not the responsibility of BSC.

All participants are required to complete and submit a Health Form and Liability Release Form, found in the BSC Border Immersion Pre-Arrival Packet.

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What should I bring?

Bedding is provided for participant’s use throughout the experience. Participants should bring clothes appropriate to the climate; typically, daytime hours are warmer with temperatures cooling off at night due to high desert elevations. Participants that come during anytime but the summer should be prepared for cooler weather; even so, it is best to check weather reports before coming. It is encouraged that participants pack lightly, and consider what is really necessary for the experience.

U.S. citizens are required to bring a legal form of identification for travel purposes back home. Non-U.S. citizens are required to bring their proper documentation, including any necessary visas.

For more complete information, see the BSC Border Immersion Pre-Arrival Packet.

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Are participants allowed to bring animals?

Animals, other than service animals, are not allowed to accompany participants.

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Do participants in the BSC Border Immersion experience México?

Currently, the BSC Border Immersion does not bring participants to México as a part of programming. This is due to the request of our friends and presenters in México, in order to protect the safety of all parties involved.

However, BSC recognizes a border immersion cannot be truly experienced without getting to know both sides; it is with this knowledge that programming is developed to intentionally address issues from a variety of angles and perspectives, while being intentionally cautious and respectful of both participants and presenters on both sides of the international boundary. Participants will go to the U.S. / México fence to speak with friends who live in colonias outside of Ciudad Juárez, visit social justice organizations that work with first-generation immigrants, and meet people in all walks of life on the U.S. / México border.

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Will participants be safe?

Communities on the U.S. side of the border experience little crime and participants generally feel safe. As in any city, petty crimes do occur; however, participants are instructed during orientation as to how to take precautions to keep themselves and their belongings the safest possible.

In 2011, El Paso was named the safest city of its size (500,000 or more population). Las Cruces, decidedly smaller (less than 100,000 population), also reports a low crime rate.

For more complete information, see Border Region.

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Do you have publicity information?

To download the brochure, select BSC Border Immersion & Internship Brochure.

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What do most participants do after their experience?

On the border, participants are impacted in a variety of ways. Participants are often inspired to return to their communities to educate, serve, and impact change. Groups often return year after year in order to build upon relationships and knowledge that influence their lives at home.

No matter a participant’s course of action after their experience, they typically find themselves more informed about themselves personally and the world around them.

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I have more questions. Who should I contact?

Please feel free to contact us; we are happy to hear of your interest! For more complete information, see Contact BSC.

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