Border Awareness Experience

Reservation deadline for June 2019 trip is Friday, May  3

Situated in El Paso, Texas, the Columban Mission Center hosts groups from all over the world to experience life on the border. The Mission Center staff offers border awareness programs to visiting groups and facilitates their contact with organizations and institutions who work on the front line of border issues including poverty, migration, human rights, and environmental justice.

The Mission Center often serves as a venue for talks, courses, and workshops for the local community. They also foster an environmentally friendly atmosphere and promote a sustainable lifestyle. The Mission Center has solar panels on its roof that provide for most of their electricity throughout the year. They also encourage composting and saving water through conservation in everyday tasks, and model alternative ways to keep the house cool in the hot summer sun.

Columban missionaries live and serve in Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, therefore groups have the opportunity to cross the border into Ciudad Juárez to visit the Columban Parish, Corpus Christi, and witness life in the border city.

The Columban Mission Center offers life-giving and graced opportunities for personal growth and clarity.

  • Learn about border issues, human rights, and sustainable living.
  • Visit institutions and community organizations that assist migrant populations.
  • Pray and reflect on your experience through spiritual guidance.
  • Stay in an eco-friendly center and learn about environmental justice.


Join CCAO at the Border - Summer 2019

The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is organizing a trip to the Columban Mission Center from Saturday, June 29 to Friday, July 5, 2019. If you would like to join this trip, please apply for a spot below. 

Before our trip, the CCAO delegation will meet over Skype (or a similar online platform) to get to know each other before we arrive in El Paso, and to go through a brief orientation.

Space is limited, so reserve your place soon.

  • Reservation Deadline: May 3, 2019
  • Dates of the Trip: June 29 to July 5, 2019
  • Cost: $50/day (normally $100/day)

Logistics

Meals, bed sheets, towels, soap, and showers are provided by the Columban Mission Center. Please note that they do not have air conditioning.

  • Participants are responsible for paying their own airfare to and from El Paso, TX.
  • Participants are responsible for bringing enough clothes for the week. A washing machine will not be available. 
  • Participants must have a valid passport.
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Expect temperatures to be in the high 90s/low 100s every day of our trip.
  • Some free time is built into the experience.

We strive to make this experience prayerful and respectful. We welcome persons from any faith tradition, or no faith tradition, to apply for this experience. Because of the realities on the border, participants may find some portions of the experience emotionally intense.

Questions about this trip? Email us at cccaoprograms@columban.org


Testimonies

  • “The stories we heard have forever changed the way I think about the reality of the U.S.-Mexico border.” – Creighton University student
  • “My experience was enlightening and life changing. I learned to open myself to God and to open my mind and try to understand the situation of immigrants.” – Korean-American youth group participant

Download the Columban Border Immersion Trip Invitation Flyer
Download Columban Border Awareness Highlight Sheet (prepared by a college student)


Schedule Your Own Trip

Does your parish, religious community, or organization want to make their own trip to the US/MX border? Contact the staff of the Columban Mission Center for details on how to schedule your own experience.

  • Address: 816 Magoffin Ave. El Paso, Texas 79901
  • Phone: (915) 351-1153
  • Email: cmc@columban.org

Check out the Columban Mission Center's Facebook for daily updates of life on the border!