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  • Writer's pictureVoices from the Border

How the Rio Grande Ran through our Lives

Those of us who pay attention to what’s happening on our border with Mexico have seen the news reports and read the stories of people dying while trying to cross the Rio Grande. Although that river is many miles away from us here in southeastern Arizona/Nogales, Sonora, a couple of weeks before Christmas, the Rio Grande ran through our lives. Here is the story of how that came to be and what we are doing to help.


On December 19th, Pancho received a phone call from Iliana, who came from Venezuela. She had stayed with us in our apartments for 4 months over the summer until she finally got an appointment on the CBP One app. She requested asylum and was released into the US to join a family member in Texas.


The reason for the call was to tell Pancho what had happened with her cousin and to ask for our help. Her cousin, also from Venezuela, had arrived at the border at the beginning of December.


Magaly left Venezuela in mid-October with her two sons, ages 17 and 3, to make their way to the US border to request asylum. They crossed the jungle through the Darien Gap, then through Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. Along the way, they were robbed of all the money they had.




Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star at the edge of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, November 2023.


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