By Sydney Umstead, Asst. News Editor
Applications are now open for the immersion trip to the U.S./Mexico border. Participants can apply to attend the trip up until March 1, when priority applications are due.
The trip will last for seven days, beginning on June 3 and ending June 9. Over the course of those days, students will have the opportunity to spend time with those seeking asylum. They will be able to hear their stories and understand more about migrants and immigration.
“The experience can sometimes give a student clarity on their major or career direction, or perhaps inspire them to volunteer or serve in their local community when they get back,” said Spencer Liechty, director of Campus Ministry.
During the week, members will cross the border to Nogales, Sonora and tour the Kino Border Initiative’s (KBI) research center. Some other activities include working alongside the team in humanitarian efforts and meeting with ranchers on the other side of the border in Arizona. Canisius has worked with the Kino Border Initiative prior to the pandemic and will be continuing their partnership this year.
The Kino Border Initiative was founded in 2009, and their website states they are an organization inspired by the “spirituality of the Jesuits and the Missionaries of the Eucharist.” The website also features details of the mission towards humanitarian needs.
Canisius also has their very own Border and Migrations Initiative that centers on community collaboration across Western New York. Collaborators of this program include, but are not limited to, Justice for Migrant Families WNY and the Jericho Road Community Health Center and Vive Shelter.
“There is also a reflection component of all these immersive experiences where students will be asked to pause and consider what they are experiencing and what it means for their life, so as to get at the Jesuit value of being ‘contemplatives in action,’” said Liechty.
The Border and Migrations initiative will be holding an event on Feb. 27 to inform those interested about KBI’s work surrounding the border. This will be sponsored by WNY Peace Center and the Latin America Solidarity Community.