Vol 7
December 2018
By Jerry Haas
I am a frequent border crosser. Sometimes I go to Mexico as often as once a week. Crossing back into the US is sometimes quick and easy; sometimes tedious and sometimes memorable. Recently, in late October, I was leading a group back from La Roca Restaurant after a tour and dinner. As we approached the DeConcini Port of Entry, I thought the line would be short, as it usually is after dark. Instead a cluster of people appeared as we entered the narrow shopping alley – a very long line! For a moment, I was tempted to speed ahead and use my Global Entry card but the people I was with were new to the Border and I felt I needed to stay with them. Besides, I didn’t have anything I really needed to do – I just don’t like lines. Bored after a few minutes, I started talking to the people around us. “Line talk” is something I’ve trained myself to do. Most people want to talk while they’re standing in line, but somebody has to break the silence. So I did. A young read more
Water Drop
by Angela Gervasi

AMADO, AZ - Thirty miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, there stands a usually-empty parking lot and a dimly lit diner— something you’d only come across in the middle of nowhere.
If you were to drive down Arivaca Road and stop in, tomorrow or 10 years from now, you’d probably find the same potato salad and chicken fried steak on the menu, the same bottles of scotch and bourbon, the same crooked portrait of John Wayne hanging by the front door.
It’s the kind of place that doesn’t change.

on BCA’s winter calendar:
January 15
with Porfirio Gutierrez. Please see the NY Times article about this amazing man: www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/science/mexico-textiles-natural-dyes

       February 19
Breakfast & the Border with US Consul General Virginia Staab (Nogales, Mexico) presenting on Central America

One of our two new tours ( Bisbee/Cananea or Kino Bay )
2018 -2019 TOURS
click date to sign up
Cross Border Tour Nogales

Here & Now Tour
Dec 14 (2 Spots left)

Surprising Hermosillo
Beautiful Rio Sonora Tour
Dec 6-8 (2 spots left)
Kino Bay
NEW- Bisbee /Cananea
Madrid - Caceres - Merida, - Sevilla - Cadiz - Cordoba - Castilla La Mancha
Extremadura and Andalucia

Let's Go to Spain
Are you interested in learning more about BCA’s trip to Spain?
Jan 16, 2019 @ 10:00 am
May 27-June 8 2019 “Gateway to a New World: Extremadura and Andalucia" What does Spain have to do with the border Alex La Pierre will talk about the cultural and gastronomic connections between Spain and the Arizona/Sonoran borderlands.
BCA Office 2221 E. Frontage Rd. Suite 201
Click date to sign up.
For more information on our tour schedule and Borderland Forums
call Tubac Presidio for Reservations (520) 398-2252
Travel as a Political Act
BCA Office- Tubac
Suggested Donation $ 10.00
Brilliant Bones: Calavera Art
Jan 30 2:00-3:30
call Tubac Presidio for Reservations
(520) 398-2252

FAQ’s : Border Crossing Challenges
Many of you have asked about the situation at the US-Mexico Border in light of recent events including additional asylum seekers and the US government’s response, sending troops to the Border. News media have focused on Tijuana, where the largest group of asylum seekers gathered. What is happening in Nogales? How is it affecting our tours? Is it safe? What can I do to help the people who are coming to our Border?

SAFETY BCA is committed to your safety as tour participants. Tours will be cancelled if we hear of credible reports of violence. Safe lodging will be provided to anyone caught on the Mexican side if the Border is shut down overnight. While lines have sometimes been long, they have been peaceful. We have no indication of violence at this time. NOTE: BCA is a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council, resourced by the US Consulate which monitors security in the Sonoran region. What you can do: Be vigilant but relaxed. If you are in line, do not act like the “ugly American”. Do not provoke others or be rude to Customs officials who are only doing their job.  

NOGALES is a much different city than Tijuana, smaller and more family-oriented. Many people live on one "side" (US or Mexico) and work on the other "side." Local traffic and family relationships bind the two cities together as one, which is why it's referred to as "Ambos Nogales" - two cities, one heart! The huge produce industry creates an enormous cross-border trade business, providing up to 50% of the produce consumed in the US during the winter months. Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey has cultivated working relations with his Sonoran (Mexico) colleague. Many factors are working in favor of a continuous flow of cross-border traffic. The spirit of the community is reflected in recent efforts to provide additional emergency shelter space for those seeking asylum in the US. What you can do: Consider making a donation to BCA for the San Juan Bosco Migrant Shelter which provides housing and meals for those in transit. Tax-deductible donations can be made to BCA marked for the Shelter and we will send the funds on to support this amazing project. The baby pictured above was brought to the Shelter by his parents when he was released from the hospital.  
CROSSING TIMES The US government's recent decision to "harden" the border by closing two vehicle ports at the main downtown entrance in Nogales while requiring additional screening of pedestrians is causing delays. Border crossing times vary a lot, especially during the holidays. The current goal for Customs and Border Protection, the US agency in charge, is 50 minutes maximum for pedestrians, but it’s not uncommon to take much longer that. Our guides have an “app” on their phones to estimate the amount of time you will have to wait, but the app isn’t always accurate. What you can do: Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and be prepared to be patient. You may want to contact your Congressional Representative and request hiring more Customs officials who are often short-handed. More Customs officials (the ones in the blue uniforms) means more lines will be open. If you have difficulty standing for long periods of time, please call us. You may want to consider bringing a walker with a seat so you don’t have to stand so long on returning to the US. If you cross regularly, you may want to apply for a Global Entry or Sentri Card (see below).

( Sentri or Global Entry cards): Travelers on BCA tours may wish to apply for a Global Entry or Sentri card to minimize wait times at Ports of Entry. Both cards allow pedestrians or registered vehicles to enter the Sentri line for expedited re-entry to the US. To get a Global Entry or Sentri card, an application must be filled out online with an application fee of $100 - $125), followed by a personal interview with a Customs officer. Check online to find out the differences between the two cards as well as fill out an online application: www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs .
All travelers on BCA tours to Nogales Mexico must have a valid (not expired) passport, passport card, Sentri or Global Entry card. All travelers on BCA tours to destinations beyond Nogales (e.g. Magdalena, Hermosillo, Rio Sonora, Kino Bay, Cananea, etc) must have a valid (not expired) passport.  (NOTE: passport cards, Sentri or Global entry cards are not accepted at the immigration checkpoint KM 21. Also note that regular or “enhanced” driver’s licenses [good for Canada] are not accepted at the US-Mexico Border.)
CONSIDER an end-of-the-year gift to a Mexican non-profit through BCA.
You can make a tax-deductible gift to one of the Mexican non-profits we visit on our tours through our website or by making your check out to BCA and designating your gift for one of the following:
  • ·      San Juan Bosco Migrant Shelter
·        ARSOBO, the wheelchair factory
·        Autism services
·        Down Association
·        CHMC girls orphanage
·        Boys orphanage
·        Deijuven (the youth center)
·        Geriatric center
·        FESAC (Alma’s organization)

A special holiday gift would be much appreciated! Thank you! Jerry Haas
BCA is looking for volunteers to help host various events and receptions, including Borderlands Forum classes, tours and special gatherings. If you are interested, please fill out and return a Volunteer Application or call the office (520-398-3229). Thanks!
BCA T-Shirts

Available at the BCA Office and most events.
Short Sleeve $15 ~ Long Sleeve $20 M-XXL
Check out our NEW WEBSITE for the latest
Tour and Borderland Forum event news.
Tubac Office now open!

Regular Office Hours
Tuesday & Wednesday
9:00 am -12:00 pm.
Additional hours by appointment.
I-19 2221 E. Frontage Rd.
Bldg H Suite 201-202
PO Box 1863
Tubac, AZ 85646
Jerry: jndhaas@gmail.com