Most of the day was spent in the desert. After a brief visit to CRREDA (Centro de
Rehabilitacion y Recuperacion Para Engermos de Drogaddicion y Alcoholismo), we headed out into the desert with Agua Para la Vida (Water for Life). Agua Para La Vida is an organization that leaves water in the desert on known migrant trails in an effort to reduce the number of migrant deaths due to dehydration. In 2012 over 10,000 gallons of water were left in the desert, largely on the Mexican side due to threats of vandalism. Not only do migrants have to worry about all the dangers of the desert – extreme weather, Border Patrol agents, wildlife, drug cartels – they also have to contend with American vigilantes who want to decrease the number of migrants crossing the desert. There are stories of vigilante groups keeping watch over the border with guns, shooting any migrants they see (google the Minutemen, it’s shocking what news stories appear). There are also reports by migrants of vandalized water jugs and poisoned water. Some of the migrants we spoke to at the migrant resource center and CAME spoke about avoiding water jugs as a precaution. In recent years Agua Para La Vida has placed the majority of their water on the Mexican side of the wall, where it’s less likely to be tampered with.
We drove west along the highway from Agua Prieta before turning off into private land. Agua Para La Vida has an arrangement with some of the ranchers in the area, so we drove through a ranch, past surprised looking cows, down pitted dirt roads, through empty stream beds, bouncing over rocks and plants for well over 30 minutes. Eventually we arrived at our destination: two 55 gallon water jugs within sight of the U.S.-Mexico border. After watching the guys fill the water jugs, we sat down for a quick picnic lunch before walking towards the wall.
|Sarah and Joca examining the water jugs|
|some of the desert landscape|
|one section of the wall|
|the prickly plants that make walking in the desert difficult*|
|another section of the wall - you can see the floodgates with new barbed wire|
|our group walking on train tracks to get to the wall*|
|part of a ladder left behind by migrants*|