UPC members David Ruston and Greg Patinka spent several weeks this past winter/spring working with the Tucson Samaritan program at the Mexico/U.S. border, a program that searches for travelers in the desert in an effort to save lives. On April 8, we heard about some of their experiences. We were joined by one of their co-workers, Dora Rodriguez.
It was July of 1980 when she and 25 other young men and women fleeing the civil war in El Salvador crossed the Mexico/U.S. border into Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument hoping to find peace and prosperity in El Norte. Unprepared for the arduous journey during the hottest time of the year and long out of supplies, 13 of the 26 perished.
Dora, one of the 13 survivors, told about her experience and what she is doing now to help travelers. She also talked about a resource center in Sasabee, Mexico, to aid travelers. She and Gail Kocourek of the Tucson Samaritans started the resource center after the U.S. began deporting busloads of travelers into a community with very limited services.
Click below to see the recorded Zoom conversation.