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Students prepare for El Otro Lado Border Immersion Trip

Students prepare for El Otro Lado Border Immersion Trip

At the start of the 2022-23 school year, Resurrection senior students were welcome to apply for the El Otro Lado Lasallian Immersion and Volunteer Experience (L.I.V.E.) which partners with San Miguel High School in Tucson, Arizona. El Otro Lado, meaning “the other side,” is an intense immersion experience in which students have the opportunity to travel to the US/Mexico border to learn about social justice issues and the complexities of immigration. El Otro Lado is an experience that allows students to move beyond borders, to grow in their understanding of Catholic Social Teaching, and their roles as advocates for others. 

In order to apply, students had to complete a five-question application that included the following:

  • Why are you interested in this particular trip?
  • What does service immersion means to you?
  • What is your understanding of what our call to service is?
  • What strengths do you possess that would add to the group going? 
  • How do you feel about engaging in prayer and reflection? 

Following application submissions, a staff committee reviewed each application before selecting seven (7) seniors to go on the immersion trip.

Leading up to the trip, students participated in bi-weekly and weekly meetings focusing on what immigration is, reasons for migration, current immigration policies, Catholic Social Teaching on immigration, injustice along the border, the importance of language and terminology, and more. Students were assigned readings each week, watched videos, participated in group and partner discussions, as well as individual reflection. 

While on the experience, which takes place March 19th through March 24th, students will spend a day with Border Patrol, touring the facility and hearing from various border patrol officers; visit Operation Streamline in Tucson at a federal courthouse and hear from public defenders; spend a day on Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation; learn more about the process of migrating from Mexico through guided hike with the Tucson Samaritans; and much more. Students will participate in a number of activities and reflections at the end of each day.

Upon our return, students will come together to plan a service project to teach our school community about what they learned. Stay tuned to hear more about the trip and what they experienced.