“What could be so bad as to try crossing the border?” was asked over and over by our group. We only spent three hours walking some of the paths that illegal immigrants use and we were doing this in daylight yet we were tired.
In the top photo you can see some of the terrain our group had to help each other over in sunlight and many who cross will do so at night. Many will break ankles just on the terrain alone.
The fence just slows down someone about fifteen seconds if they make it. Many fall and break legs and arms trying to go over it.
Imagine fathers and mothers often will leave their children behind and families to take this horrible trip that will most likely be around six days in the desert. Then the rest of their time in the US they will always be navigating ways to not get caught and sent back.
The Agua Prieta, Mexico and Douglas, Arizona are towns divided by a fence. This is the most crossed area of the Mexican border.
Many youth who are legal will be hired to carry drugs over illegally and then just to come back through the check point to do this over and over until they are caught.
The trip is for us to understand some of the root causes of this problem. We listed to learn about how NAFTA had its flaws. The Mexican government stopped subsidizing crops, yet the US continues to subsidize major corporate farms.
What took our country a hundred years to change from an agricultural society to a industrial one, Mexico did in less than ten years. The farmers could not compete and had to leave what they knew to do something else, which they had no skills.
We are seeing one small success through a cooperative formed of coffee growers in Mexico. The nonprofit Frontero de Cristo helped raise the money for a roaster. 100% of the money is staying in Mexico with the farmers.
Those families are no longer looking north and are now helping save their communities.
Here we are touring the roasting facilities in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Later we will fly to the Chiapas area of Southern Mexico to visit the farmers and their families. We will see coffee being grown and see how this is transforming their lives and their communities.
This is Robusto Coffee which is higher in caffeine.
This is Arabica coffee that is low in caffeine and smooth to drink. However, how you roast it can change the levels and taste.
Here Adrian Gonzalez, manager of customer relations, talks to us about how they not only sell whole beans but also grind the coffee by request of some customers.
They put the farmers names on the bags of coffee helping to create a relationship between the customer and the farmer.
Stay tuned for photos of the growing process in Salvador Urbina and El Aguila which are located in Chiapas region of Mexico.