Trip - Border Encounter - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Immersion & Encounter at the U.S.-Mexico Border

El Paso, Texas / Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

 This trip is cancelled, please check back for updates.

Welcome to El Paso and Ciudad Juárez!

El Paso (Texas), Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) and Las Cruces (New Mexico) form an urban center of over 3 million people in lands that used to be part of Mexico. The cities are intricately connected; according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are over 40 million northbound crossings of people from Juárez to El Paso every year, with 100,000 people crossing for work and returning daily. The U.S.-Mexico border at El Paso and Juárez is truly a crossroad where the cultures from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America meet and enrich one another.

While the vitality of this cross-cultural exchange is undeniable, the border is also a place of immense suffering as migrants who have been forced to flee their homes struggle to overcome ever-increasing obstacles in their efforts to claim their right to asylum or to begin a new life. Maryknoll Lay Missioners has a presence at the border to accompany, empower, provide resources, advocate for and learn from these migrants while challenging the structural injustices they face.


What We Will Do There

1. Visit Maryknoll Lay Missioners who are working with migrants at the border.

2. Meet with migrants, health care workers, immigration lawyers, and Border Patrol to understand the issues facing migrants more deeply.

3. Spend a ‘work day’ doing service and encounter opportunities with asylum seekers, migrants, or refugees, either in an area emergency shelter or detention center, or through the education and social service programs offered by El Sagrado Corazon (Sacred Heart), the Jesuit parish in El Paso.

4. Education on Catholic Social Teaching on migration.

5. Discussion of the push and pull factors causing migration from Central America and Mexico to the United States.

6. Possible site visits to organizations serving Ciudad Juárez residents across the U.S.-Mexico border.

7. Evening reflections, prayer, and community living.

Logistics and Costs

Prior to leaving, Friends Across Borders will provide an orientation which will include education about important cultural and other rules to follow during the trip. Our guides are Maryknoll lay missioners Heidi Cerneka and Coralis Salvador.

TOTAL COST: $750.00 (ground cost plus registration fee).

This covers the program registration fee, all lodging and meals, all local transportation,  English-Spanish speaking guides, cultural activities, and tourist fees. Airfare not included.

Please make sure your passport is valid through 2021!

Have questions? Contact


Welcome to the Border!

Friends Across Borders Inquiry

Interested? Sign up here to get more information about the immersion experience with Maryknoll Lay Missioners!