California-Mexico Border Experience

Crossing Borders: San Diego/Tijuana

Crossing Borders: San Diego/Tijuana

Our program invites students and teachers to understand the US – Mexico Border surrounding the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego through a “Human Geography” lens. How is it that commodities and revenue flow with relative ease between Mexico and the U.S. but the people are filtered through a militarized process? What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? How can a “nation of immigrants” reconcile its identity with the contiguous land mass and…

Our program invites students and teachers to understand the US – Mexico Border surrounding the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego through a “Human Geography” lens. How is it that commodities and revenue flow with relative ease between Mexico and the U.S. but the people are filtered through a militarized process? What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? How can a “nation of immigrants” reconcile its identity with the contiguous land mass and immutable demographics of our populations? What do the locals say? What systemized efforts at transcending injustice are in place? Are there successful models for creating a mutually prosperous future?

People to People: Local Community
Our programs allow students to meet with voices from all sides of the issues: Border Patrol, Anti-immigrant militia leaders, bi-national clergy, activists, artists and administrators. We visit President Trump’s prototype “Walls,” walk both sides of the border fence, serve food in refugee/deportee resource centers, and understand the unique evolution of the “national frontier” united us and our southern neighbors. We train students in the effective use of their documentary speech rights using the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment (Press, Assembly, Religion, Speech and Petition). Students can exercise their privilege to effectively amplify voices from both sides of the CA-Mexico Border, and bring greater understanding to the complexities of the immigration issue from a foundation of factual observation.

History Matters: Learning From The Past
Travelers learn the history of the U.S.-Mexico relations, analyzing how foreign policies, including NAFTA, have defined Latin American migration patterns over the last century. How does the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Bracero Program, the industrialization of agriculture and the indigenous culture over time shape the demographic realities of today?

Students are encouraged to challenge cultural prejudices surrounding notions of citizenship and national identity. How might systemic economic policy changes inhibit the phenomenon of desperate human migrants seeking refuge in the United States? By comparing models of hemispheric economic cooperation around the world, students may reimagine a trans-border region stabilized through equitable relationships on the global, regional and local levels.

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Trip Highlights

  • Meet with activists in San Diego
  • Enjoy authentic Mexican food cooked by local chefs
  • Photograph iconic landscapes: Balboa, Chicano and Friendship Parks
  • Meet with Border Patrol for an official Homeland Security border fence tour
  • Walk bordered beaches in Tijuana and U.S.
  • Visit non-profit organizations assisting deported veterans and asylum-seekers
  • Meet local activists: Madres Y Familias Deportadas En Accion
  • Visit the bi-national garden in Playas, Tijuana
  • Understand NAFTA: visit maquila factory complex and workers neighborhoods
  • Support social enterprises of Mixtec indigenous artists

Student Video

Witness the U.S.-Mexico Border
Travelers share their experiences and insights after traveling to the San Diego/Tijuana Border with Peace Works Travel.