The Virgin of Guadalupe

The Virgin of Guadalupe has long been a religious symbol and a comfort to the working people of Mexico.

Two accounts, published in the 1640s, one in Spanish and one in Nahuatl, the local language, tell of her origin. Continue Reading

NPR Story Inspires a Song:

Grecia Cruz and The Land That I Love

In September of 2007, I heard and was deeply moved by a story on about the loss and death of migrants in Arizona’s part of the Sonoran Desert on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. Haunted by it for months, I wrote a song: The Land That I Love.

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The Video: The Land That I Love

In March of 2010, I was invited to stay and work with Shura Wallin and Rev. Randy Mayer – co-founders of the Green Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans/Los Samaritanos.

We arranged a concert at The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, where Randy is the minister. I went to learn more about the situation on both sides of the border with Shura and Randy as my guides and companions.

I carried a digital video/still camera with me everywhere. The video accompanying the song draws all its images and footage from my experience on both sides of the border with Shura and Randy.

I photographed the landscape, the desert plants, the hands of deportees at the comedor in Nogales, Mexico. Continue Reading

The Land That I Love

The Land That I Love
©2009, Scott Ainslie. All rights reserved.

For Grecia Cruz, who crossed into the Tohono O’odham Reservation desert and was lost June 23, 2007.

I go to the market – in the town, ‘ I was born.
It’s full of cheap clothes from China – and American corn.
But we have a small farm – that we water with tears.
How can we compete? The gringo farms are so big. Now we cannot stay here. Continue Reading

NPR: Deaths Rise Along Mexico-Arizona Border

Aired: September 29, 2007 on Weekend Edition Saturday

SCOTT SIMON, host: For the second year in a row, the number of undocumented immigrants who’ve died along the U.S.-Mexico border has dropped. But in Southern Arizona, the country’s busiest crossing point, deaths are on the rise. More of those dying are women. One (unintelligible) study found that women account for more than 25 percent of those deaths.

Claudine LoMonaco of member station KUAT in Tucson went along recently on one woman’s search for her missing sister.

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NAFTA: The US role in creating immigration

More than 6,000 sets of remains have been found in the desert since 1994, the year the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect.NAFTA benefited the owners and the corporations – and harmed the workers – of every nation that signed it. It made Monsanto’s corporate corn – one of the most heavily subsidized crops in the world – cheaper to sell than it is to grow in Mexico.Almost overnight, NAFTA turned Mexico into a corn-importing nation for the first time in its history. NAFTA decimated family farms and villages. It threw tens of thousands of traditional working families and their communities deeper and more desperately into rural poverty. Continue Reading

Resources On Border Issues

We all have a vested interest in the well-being of our fellows.

Opinions can vary on how best to care for all, but opinions should be based upon a wide-ranging survey of the available facts and history. Personally, I’d be delighted if you agree with me. But it’s far more important to our nation and the world that you pursue the facts and come to your own conclusions. Here are some valuable resources on-line, on the page, and on screen. Continue Reading

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