Migration & Culture in Nogales, Mx.
The trip to Nogales, Mx. was an opportunity to analyze Mexico in a way that I had not in all the times that I have been there. Previous to this class I had not really heard about the maquiladoras and the big effect they have on towns like Nogales, but being able to see the Industrial park and the colonias that surround them gave me a whole different perspective. I was shocked to see how a border town like Nogales still has colonias that do not have running portable water. In my mind it was just pueblos that were in the middle of nowhere or were too rural that had no running water. It is very sad to see this situation since water is a necessary utility in our lives not just for drinking but for hygiene that affect people’s health. In Lives on the Line by Miriam Davidson we see how public services like the sewer installation and other utilities had to be protested for and done by the people themselves in the community (Davidson, 31). Water lines had to be installed by people themselves since there would be water shortages and according to Maria Rosario and her family who we had lunch with, until not so long ago about 5 years ago water shortages were still a problem in their neighborhood despite them living in one of the better colonias. I was bothered by the fact that one of the biggest colonias, and also one of the poorest, that is located right next to the maquiladoras, does not have running water and the maquiladoras will not share such a useful utility with them. Water continues to still be an issue for Nogales since in the 1980s the Nogales Wash flowed with wastewater, sewage, and garbage and caused many people to get sick (Davidson, 55).
Visiting Grupo Beta was a sad yet interesting place where we got to know more about what an immigrant goes through as he is being deported. I was impressed by the courage of many of the men that were there and still had plans to keep trying despite what they have been through and all for their families. The purpose of Grupo Beta, is to help migrants who are trying to cross the border or have just gone through a very dangerous journey, this is lifesaving for many people. The majority of the people we were able to speak to were from areas of Mexico farther south in places like Chiapas. From Grupo Beta they will be able to get a discounted ticket to their hometown. Grupo Beta provides services like medical attention to the migrants who may be hurt, like a man we met who was from Chiapas and in his intent to cross got horrible blisters on his feet preventing him from walking any further. In Mexico there is plenty of corruption and even though it would not surprise me if Grupo Beta were “muy malo” like the tunnel children considered them to be, I would really hope that they do more good than bad. According to the children, Grupo Beta has hurt children before by torturing them and they claim that some of them take bribes like cops do (Davidson, 126).
Having the opportunity to visit the community center “Hogar de Esperanza y Paz” (HEPAC) was very moving since trying to get kids off the street is a great intent . I was impressed to know that these types of organizations exist in places like Nogales; I think it’s a great idea and more should be created. In times like now when violence is really big in many towns of Mexico and when children are capable of losing their parents and heading in the path of violence, organizations like HEPAC can turn their lives around. HEPAC also has a program for adults to finish their basic primary education which I believe is great since my parents were barely able to finish elementary and I know they would of love to go further.