FROM THE US/MEXICO BORDER
One of their early works was to help set up the coffee cooperative Café Justo. Café Justo coffee farmers own the farms, the processing, roasting, packaging, and delivery of their coffee. (https://www.justcoffee.org/)
The vision of the founding farmers was to address the root causes of migration, creating opportunities to allow coffee farmers to choose to stay home rather than being forced to migrate to the United States to find livable wage jobs.
Another Frontera ministry is what they call ‘Mission Education.’ This education through immersion experience is really behind Joyce and our visit to the border. The border is always changing. All three of us had served along the border multiple times before, and we wanted to witness for ourselves what was really happening right now. We thought we might get a job with Frontera but we had no idea what it might be.
As it turns out, Mark, Frontera’s Coordinator, had a job for us right in the thick of things.
For 21 years, Frontera has held a Tuesday evening prayer vigil procession along the primary highway that leads from Douglas into Agua Prieta. Sr. Joyce was one of the early walkers in this event that prays for, honors, and calls attention to the people who died trying to cross the brutal Arizona desert.
This is one thing that has not changed: they are still walking in the vigil and migrants are still dying in the desert. In fact, 2020 was a record year for deaths in the Arizona desert, with 227 bodies recovered. Tuesday evening, we joined the street procession along with another dozen online. As we walked, we laid out white crosses with the victim’s name (if known) on it.
As we walked, each person calls out the name written on the cross they are holding, and we all respond ‘Presente.’ This is a Latino/Border way of remembering and honoring a person’s life. It was a very hot walk, but a very powerful experience.
Read this story and the entire paper for only $1 online
Search back issues, email stories, flip through pages and skim headlines just as you would with a newspaper in your hands.
Create an account and buy a paper anytime you want for only $1 per issue Or buy a year subscription for $39.95