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San Diego Border

Community Revitalization and Immigration on the U.S./Mexico Border


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Villanova UniversityJessica Flynn, Sociology, Gender & Women's Studies Majors

“My week with Via International opened my eyes to the immigration issue in ways I could have never truly imagined before embarking on this trip. Though I thought that I would leave the trip with a solidified opinion on border issues, I truly came away with something so much more valuable: the awareness of the heightened need for education surrounding immigration in the US. In my view, so so many individuals simply have ignorant ideas about immigration, because they have never experienced the border in the way we did."

Fairfield University - Julianne Hulin, Double Major in Nursing & Music

“I have gone on the trip three times, and it has been such a wonderful part of my Fairfield experience. Each year, I was fortunate to gain more knowledge and new perspective. Via International provides an immersion experience that encompasses many aspects of the issues surrounding the border...I have been extremely impacted by this experience and the people I have met along the way. Thank you for opening up your community to us and for providing an experience in which we could learn and grow immensely. I will graduate in just about a week, and I will soon be a nurse. My hope is that I can soon return to San Diego to work in a border region because this has become a passion of mine.”

Villanova University - Bridget Black, Political Science Major

“My experience at the U.S./Mexico border challenged me in ways I never expected. I found it surprisingly difficult to stand against the wall separating the United States from Mexico. Even with the complex political issues and polarizing opinions surrounding immigration, I learned that the most important part of the debate to always keep in mind is the human dignity in every person, regardless of what side of the wall he or she grew up on.”

Villanova University - Will Morris, Political Science Major

“I learned that community is any group of people that can come together to support the same cause. A community can be anything from a group of people supporting immigration reform to a group of people supporting Chicano Park. I felt that the service projects we worked on made a big difference. Both the garden and cultural center really benefited from our work, and we learned a lot about the culture that surrounds these communities.”