Tucson Borderlands Young Adult Volunteer Site
The Tucson Borderlands site offers an opportunity to experience and explore the call of the gospel in the social and political realities of the U.S./Mexico border region. Whether they work in Tucson or with our binational partner in Agua Prieta, Mexico, Tucson Borderlands YAVs see first-hand how concepts like “border security” and “globalization” play out in the daily lives of real people they meet. YAVs live in intentional community and explore vocation together, trying to figure out who God created them to be and whose turn it is to do the dishes.
- Borderlinks: Volunteers serve as delegation leaders, facilitating educational immersion experiences of the border region in both the U. S. and Mexico.
- Southside Presbyterian Church: Southside is a multicultural, multiracial, theologically diverse, all inclusive community of faith that is constantly looking for ways to explore the intersection of faith and justice as they seek to respond to an ever changing political and cultural landscape. YAVs practice justice at Southside through Cross Street Community — a weekly homeless program; Tucson Samaritans — which provides humanitarian aid to migrants in distress in the desert; and the Southside Worker Center which provides a safe place for day laborers to wait for work and opportunities for leadership development empowering them to become changemakers in their community. YAVs at Southside will work side by side with Pastor Alison Harrington, who has become a national leader in the Sanctuary Movement, to coordinate efforts both locally and nationally as we build a faith based movement to end deportations pew by pew.
- Tucson Community Food Bank: Staff and volunteers at CFBSA work to "change lives in the communities we serve by feeding the hungry today and building a healthy, hunger-free tomorrow". Volunteers work with the Agency Partnerships department, which oversees food distribution, training, and capacity-building activities with 240 partner agencies across the region, including shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, and youth programs.
- Community Home Repair Project of Arizona (CHRPA): Volunteers work closely with a wide variety of local and national volunteers and staff to provide free home repair to low income and working poor residents of the Tucson valley. Volunteers receive training and provide direct home repair services to a diverse community.
- Frontera de Cristo: Volunteers live in Agua Prieta, Mexico and work extensively with Protestants, Catholics and people of good will in the United States and Mexico to provide direct humanitarian assistance to deportees returned to Mexico by the Border Patrol and to support capacity building in this border community.
- Primavera Foundation: Volunteers have worked in a variety of positions, from resource specialist to financial education advocate. Primavera provides pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development and neighborhood revitalization. Primavera promotes economic and social justice while working to build a future in which all people are assured basic human rights, a livable income, and safe, affordable housing.
Iskashitaa: Volunteers work to coordinate the harvesting and redistribution of local foods and engage in meaningful community building and cross cultural exchange. The volunteers can serve as English Gathering Coordinator or In-Kind Donations Coordinator.
Tucson YAVs live together in a house near downtown Tucson and are invited to explore biking and public transportation options during their year of service. YAVs placed with Frontera de Cristo live together in a duplex in Agua Prieta, Mexico
INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY ASPECTS
Volunteers explore vocation together in group sessions focused on trying out new spiritual and discernment practices throughout their year of service. Each volunteer is also paired with a Discernment Partner, a member of Tucson community who is familiar with the YAV program and agrees to support their YAV through time spent together each month. YAVs work four days a week, saving Fridays to dedicate to community life -- house meetings, fellowship time, book discussions, and other activities the community decides to explore together.
Language: Spanish is a big help in all the placements and a requirement for placements at Borderlinks and Frontera de Cristo.