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Stories of Migration Delegation to Mexico: May 20-31, 2009

Dear Colleagues,   I hope that you will join me in sharing the following information with your networks about this exciting delegation that I am leading through Witness for Peace to look at the impacts of NAFTA and migration on communities in Oaxaca and along the US-Mexico border.  Please forward widely!   Beth PoteetOrganizer, Witness for Peace [email protected]e.org/northwest      Stories of Migration Tracing the Journey from Oaxaca to the Border - A Delegation to Mexico May 20 - 31, 2009   Since 2006, millions of immigrants and their allies have taken to the streets in the U.S. to demand comprehensive immigration reform while immigration police strike terror in our communities by increasing the number of workplace raids and home detentions. And Congress fails to ask the question, “Why do people migrate?”   Come to Mexico to hear the stories behind the migrant journey.Since NAFTA was passed in 1994, 2 million Mexican corn farmers were put out of work by this free trade agreement. At the same time, over one third of the new jobs that were created by NAFTA in Mexico have disappeared. Immigration to the U.S. has almost doubled since the passage of NAFTA. Trace the migrant journey from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca to the desert and borderland of northern Mexico and southern Arizona.Delegates will examine the economic factors behind migration in Oaxaca , how migration impacts those who stay behind, and the causes behind the social uprising in Oaxaca that began in 2006. We will then travel to northern Mexico to meet with migrants who are preparing to cross into the U.S. and to learn about U.S. border enforcement policy. Join us as we seek to understand the root causes of immigration and change the immigration debate in the U.S.   For more information, contact Beth Poteet at 503.287.7847 or [email protected]  Click here to download the flyer.  

Delegation Activities Oaxaca, Mexico

Speak with civil society members, human rights workers and community activists about how free trade agreements force people to head norhts for work. Learn about the social uprising and movement that began in 2006 led by the APPO (Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca) and Section 22 teacher's union. Do a homestay in a migrant sending community and hear family members talk about how free trade and migration have impacted their livelihood and traditions.   Northern Mexico

Fly to northern Mexico to visit the town of Altar - the main converging point for migrants preparing to make the dangerous trip across the desert into Arizona. Talk with community activists in Altar and migrants mid-journey to hear first-hand about their experiences and why they chose to leave their homes and families.   Tucscon, Arizona

Participate in the final day of the 6th annual Migrant Trail Walk, a grassroots organized 6 day walk from Sasabe, Sonora to Tucscon, Arizona in solidarity with migrants who risk their lives every day crossing through the desert due to inhumane border policies.  

Cost: The estimated price of this 12 day delegation is $1150-$1250 USD plus the cost of an in-country flight.  This delegation fee covers all reading materials, set-up, preparation, meals, lodging, intepretation and transportation during the delegation as well as a one day donation to the Migrant Trail Walk organizing committee on your behalf.  Note: The fee does not include airfare from your hometown to the start of the delegation in Oaxaca, Mexico nor your return from Tucson, Arizona.   Application and non-refundable deposit of $150 due by April 1st, 2009.  Contact Beth Poteet at 503.287.7847 or [email protected] for an application or for more information.   Witness for Peace (WFP) is a politically independent, grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience.  Our mission is to support peace, justice, and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.