CROSSING THE BORDER
The trip to Nogales, Mexico was very fascinating. It was such a culture shock to see the way people lived in Nogales. It is very disturbing to know that there is so much poverty and related health issues in Nogales and it is only a border away. This trip has made me realize that even though people are different in culture at the same time they can make you feel very welcoming into their country. The best part of the trip was meeting Beatrice and her children and Kiko Trujillo from the Casa de la Misericordia.
During the trip we met Beatrice who had made us lunch for our group that day. She is a resident of the colonia Bella Vista in Nogales. During our meal we had asked her how she and her family migrated to Nogales. Beatrice’s father wanted to provide his family with a better life so he took a chance and try to cross the border. Later, he was caught and was deported back into Mexico and ever since then they have been living in Nogales. Beatrice’s typical day in Nogales consists of caring for her children and preparing meals. Her husband works long days with very little pay. As stated in Maria Torres article We Are Not Machines, the author talks about the minimum wages for the maquiladora industry workers and the poor working conditions, one worker said that, “I was paid $27 for a forty-hour week” (Torres,We Are Not Machines, p.17). Clearly workers in Nogales get pay very little. It was amazing to able to experience the journey into Nogales, Mexico and see first hand how and ways people strived to provide for their family. For example, there were people selling foods and toys on street corners and even in the street to the passing cars.
Another great experienced about the trip was meeting Kiko Trujillo and learning about the Casa de la Misericordia. The Casa de la Misericordia is a center that gives back to the children of Nogales. The facility provides hot meals for the children once a day. During holidays they provide Piñatas, activities, and pass out gifts for the children. Mr. Trujillo also mentioned that he used to work in the Maquiladora industry. Maquiladora is a foreign-own assembly plant which provides jobs with low paying salary and poor working condition. He also talked about NAFTA; North American Free Trade Agreement which was implemented to eliminate the restrictions on the flow of goods and services. The David Bacon article Unions Without Borders, the author talks about how workers and their rights are not being protected under NAFTA. For example the author mentioned that, “Under NAFTA process, the NAO held a series of hearings and concluded that Mexican government had failed to enforce its workers protection law (Bacon, Unions Without Borders,p30).
Lastly, being given this opportunity to visit and experience Nogales, Mexico first hand is amazing. Meeting Beatrice and Kiko Trujillo was wonderful they both had a lot to say about life in Nogales. This trip has proved that people share similar goals, regardless of who we are and where we come from, we all want to provide a decent life for our family. Maybe in the near future our borders will open up to those people who want to find a decent job in the US.
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