Many issues that exist along the northern Mexican border with the United States exist in other areas, as well. A group of University of Arizona graduate students is traveling to Mexico's southern border with Guatemala to learn about migration from a public health and planning perspective.
The students have been designing the trip for months and will spend time at a coffee cooperative in Mexico. They plan to talk with workers and employers.
Andrew Gall, a public health graduate student, says he and the other students have already spent time in the Agua Prieta, Sonora, and Douglas border area in Arizona.
“The students that were on that trip really got interested in the root causes of migration, so not just the symptoms of migration," Gall says. "So our trip to the Mexico-Guatemala border is to try and look into some of those root causes and discover why people are leaving their communities in the first place."
Also going on the trip will be Arthur Bassett, a graduate student in borderlands and regional planning.
"I want to share what I have with other people and I want to learn what they see and what their perceptions are and bring that back up here as well," says Bassett, who grew up along the U.S.-Mexican border.
The group will be gone for nine days and plans to share its knowledge with migration organizations at Mexico’s southern border. They will stay with coffee farmers and hold a community forum while in Mexico to learn about workers’ situations.