Daniel Rubic (SAC11)
Across the Pacific Ocean lies the city of Tijuana in northern Mexico. Tijuana’s location on the United States-Mexican border makes it the perfect location to witness the juxtaposition between these two countries. The immersion program really begins upon entering Tijuana through the San Ysidro border crossing, the busiest international land crossing in the world. This experience of ‘walking’ into the Third World is deepened by a visit to the fence that separates the two countries. The majority of the immersion takes place with Esperanza International, building houses for the poor. This organisation more then just builds houses; it gives hope to the people of Tijuana where there was no hope before. While in Tijuana the immersionistas spend their time on the worksite doing a variety of tasks. The immersion highlights the injustice of Tijuana’s situation, but also reveals the love and compassion of the people who run these organisations; who strive everyday to make their city a better place.
Open to university students, this immersion runs in association with Esperanza International, enabling participants to experience the local culture whilst assisting with the construction of homes for the poor communities of Tijuana. There are also opportunities to visit the local orphanage, Fr Jaime’s Clinic and Soup Kitchen. In Los Angeles, participants visit Homeboy Industries to gain an understanding of how social enterprises work. Here they meet many young men and women who have left gang involvements to form strong communities and hope for their futures.