Border Immersion Testimonials

Colorado Vincentian Volunteers

What I really wanted to see at the border was hope—what do migrants find to sustain them in difficult times? And what would I find to inspire and guide my actions after returning to Denver? I did learn of how they overcame so much as they showed us rows upon rows of broccoli (in the desert!), colorful classrooms and intricate hand-made gifts. I didn’t have all of my questions answered. I did find that spark of hope in Veronica and Irma. And “when your heart ignites, it is your turn to radiate love over all the world.”

Colorado Vincentian Volunteers (February 2012)

The stories we heard, injustices revealed, sufferings exposed, and persistent faith lived out have shed a new light on my perspective. Carmen, a woman whose faith is as big as Job’s in Scripture, radiates love that can be felt by everyone around her. Her persistent care and sacrifices for a daughter that isn’t of her own blood exemplifies what people will do out of love. When families are torn apart the love that binds them will break; suffering will be felt on all sides until it is brought back together. The love that binds us all needs to be recognized. We can see this love if we take the time to hear others’ stories and share them.

Colorado Vincentian Volunteers (February 2012)

I soon learned that this plot of land belonged to one of the 140 colonies—a rural unincorporated settlement along the U.S. / México border often characterized by substandard housing, inadequate roads, poor drainage, and substandard water and sewage systems. In two words: extreme poverty. The sentiment that “people in poverty are only looking to survive to the next day,”is farthest from the truth in Chaparral, NM. There Veronica and Irma created a place that has combined resources, time, and creativity from all aged people in the community to specifically work towards social, economic and environmental justice.

Colorado Vincentian Volunteers (February 2012)

Her story had brought me to tears as she told of how she is a single mother with four children, one of whom is terminally ill. Carmen quotes Leviticus 19, reminding us to “love the alien as yourself”and “treat the foreigner as your native-born.”I wonder: how do I love her in truth and in action? Are $7 million per mile fences really what is safe or right? What is best? What insures ultimate liberty?