BCA Internship Program
The BCA Internship Program seeks to give participants a hands-on experience and broad exposure to the realities of public policy and human rights advocacy with perspectives from both the U.S. and Mexico. This experience is much more than textbook theory. Living in the borderlands, participants will have unprecedented opportunities to dialogue with people who live in both countries – politicians, writers, teachers, artists, migrants, social activists, environmentalists, attorneys.
Border Community Alliance, (BCA) partners with FESAC (Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense, A.C.), a non-governmental organization (NGO) on the Mexico side that functions like a community foundation in offering this internship program. FESAC operates throughout the state of Sonora; we connect with them through their Nogales office. The BCA/FESAC partnership is an important and unique aspect of this internship program.
Participants will have an experience they will never forget. This immersion program changes lives. The rich traditions and warm generosity of the people of the borderlands will stay with students forever.
2017 BCA Intern, Wesleyan University
My experience as an intern for the Border Community Alliance in the summer of 2017 was entirely transformative. I received the opportunity to meet with and learning about and volunteer for many different non-profits, NGOs, Religious Organizations, Businesses, anthropologists, journalists, and government agencies operating on both sides and across the Border. We were empowered with the freedom and connections to explore the professional world as it related to both the Borderlands and our own personal interests.
2016 BCA Intern, University of North Florida
One of the greatest things about the internship experience was spending time with people from all walks of life. My memories of Nogales are even more special because they were a part of them.
2016 BCA Intern, Kent State University
My studies in International Relations and Spanish have led me to become very interested in and passionate about development in Central America and Mexico, especially certain aspects of development like poverty, access to education, and the gang violence that compounds these issues within the region. This led me to become interested in how these factors drive some people to migrate to the United States, how others seek asylum there – and so it became important to me to pursue an internship that dealt, in some way, with these issues. I also wanted to learn more about the border from many different aspects, in order to experience firsthand how the U.S. and Mexico are critically linked, and how border policy affects life for people living on both sides as well as those who migrate. Most significantly for me, interning with Border Community Alliance allowed me to learn more about the astounding community initiatives on the Mexican side; about migrants and their experiences; about immigration within the United States’ legal system; and about the importance of changing the narrative of the border. And equally as impactful was that in doing this, I had the privilege of meeting and volunteering with some of the most dedicated and incredible organizations and individuals I came to know during my experience.
2017 BCA Intern, Temple University
“Through the Border Community Alliance, I had the incredible opportunity to live for six weeks in Nogales, Arizona– a border town that sits adjacent to Nogales, Mexico. The experience was eye-opening, filled with daily conversations in Spanish and English and constant lessons about the border. I’ll never forget those conversations– with an artist, a taxi driver, a musician– and I’ll always be grateful to the friendliness and openness present in the Nogales community.While separated by a fence, the two towns share such a strong bond that they’re often referred to as Ambos– “both”– Nogales. Each day, hundreds of people push through creaky, metal turnstiles that separate Mexico from the United States. They cross to visit family and friends, to shop for clothes and groceries, or simply to visit and explore. Meanwhile, migrants from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras lack visas, passports, documents. Many of them would– and do– risk their lives to set foot in Arizona, Texas or California. The borderlands are complex: a concoction of cultures, a hub of contradiction and confusion, a focal point of the beautiful humanity and unspeakable pain that ensues when two countries are divided by a fence.Since I returned to my hometown of Philadelphia, Nogales has crossed my mind at least daily. I hope and plan to return soon, and I’m grateful for my summer with the BCA.”
2016 BCA Intern, University of Minnesota
BCA’s internship was a refreshing 6 weeks of well-rounded views — whether economic, political, humanitarian, or social justice stances. It allowed me to learn first hand about border issues and draw my own conclusion after being presented with all the facts, which is incredibly unique. Ambos Nogales invited us interns to hear as much as we could and learn from those affected by the issues on both sides of the wall.
2016 BCA Intern, University of Arizona
“A summer in Nogales opened my eyes to the incredible activist presence on the U.S.-Mexico border. The BCA consists of, and will introduce you to, a collection of passionate and creative community members on both sides of the wall working in conjunction to promote regional self-determination and basic human rights.”
2015 BCA Intern, University of San Francisco
Charlie’s experience as a BCA intern so greatly impacted his life that he developed a cross border youth project with Border Community Alliance as the fiscal agent and sponsor and is moving from San Francisco to Southern Arizona to implement and oversee the program as the project Executive Director. Border Youth Tennis Exchange, BYTE, provides athletic training and a specialized learning (NJTL) educational curriculum to youth on both sides of the US/Mexico Border. By empowering Children and young adults as international cultural ambassadors, BYTE strengthens border communities and bridges social, economic, and political gaps.
2015 BCA Intern, University of Wisconsin
“The BCA internship gave me insight into the reality of the border. As I continue to study the political and historical relations between the U.S. and Mexico, I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how the border impacts lives.” Alex Arriaga
2015 BCA Intern, University of San Francisco
“The BCA’s summer internship program was six weeks of inspiration, courage, discovery, humility, spirituality, and selfishness. It was one of the best experiences of my life and something I will never forget.”
“ My internship with the BCA was one of the most memorable and influential times of my life.“
BCA 2016 Summer Interns visit ARSOBO in Nogales, Sonora. Interns: Sara, Danny, Natalie & Natalie.