This month, we began to host the first of our virtual immersions, which engage students and communities in border immersions remotely. We also include news on our online, Facebook programming that is open to the public in an effort to continue to engage with our extended KBI family. Please join us tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17, for a Facebook Live sharing and prayer on racism by tuning in to KBI’s Facebook page. Finally, we share with you some updates about what KBI services currently look like at this phase in the pandemic, which has been particularly intense in the Ambos Nogales communities.
1) Virtual Immersions: Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Kino Border Initiative Educational has launched virtual immersions for educational groups. The programming includes both formal and informal conversations with migrants; a virtual desert hike; a “visit” with ranchers; structured presentations and reflections, and more. Our first group, from Loyola Academy in the Chicago area, was piloted the last week of May, and multiple other groups are on the calendar throughout the summer.
2) We have continued to provide virtual programming via Facebook Live to connect supporters, students, and others with what is happening at the Kino Border Initiative. Tomorrow, June 15, 2020, we will host a Facebook Live conversation on racism at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET on our Facebook page; we look forward to seeing you there! During the month of May, two Facebook Live events were held. One was held in honor of mothers, and Sr. Pina Bejarano, M.E., Sr. Tracey Horan, S.P and Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., led the reflection and prayer service. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=245224356798112. On May 20, in tandem with our partners at the Ignatian Solidarity Network, we hosted a conversation about the realities of living in the time of coronavirus, both for staff and migrants. Speakers included “Curly,” a Venezuelan woman recently released from detention; Maria, a Venezuelan mother living in Nogales under the Migration Protection Protocols; Sr. Cecilia Lopez, M.E., and Fr. Pete Neeley, S.J. The recording can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=320149175639718. We also hosted a tour of the new facility in early June; watch it here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=257581495302864. There is one more upcoming Facebook Live events, scheduled to be a reflection on education with students. Stay tuned for more information!
3) Given the continued realities of the virus, particularly the alarming increase in cases in Arizona and Sonora, we continue to offer restricted services to migrants and among staff. This includes holding all meetings outdoors, maintaining social distancing, mandating masks, and offering to-go plates for households. As the situation changes, we will adapt our services and keep you informed. The health and well-being of migrants, staff, and our communities are our foremost priority.