What is BCA’s mission?
Nonprofit Border Community Alliance is bridging the border and fostering community through education, collaboration and cultural exchange.
It is in this spirit that we are strong advocates for elevating our international community through grassroots NGO social investment.
We share with the public to build an awareness for the ‘good news’ of what civil society is accomplishing in the borderlands region that frequently is neglected by mass media.
Where is BCA located?
PO Box 1863
Tubac, AZ 85646
Why take a Cross Border Tour?
Border Community Alliance is dedicated to championing public literacy in current borderlands issues, anthropology, history and geography - taking those subjects and learning in place - in the field - rather than in dusty libraries and classrooms. This is in fulfillment of the nonprofit's mission of education and affirming that context is vital to understanding.
Since 2010 many people have learned first-hand about the dynamics of the borderlands by taking a BCA Cross Border Tour. BCA’s cross border tour program has been also privileged to have been featured in the New York Times.
Consider joining us for one of our other cultural exchange excursions listed below. Check the schedule and register online through our secure website. In recognizing BCA’s commitment to fostering international community , please know that part of the proceeds of your registration go directly to grassroots civil society NGOs in the BCA/FESAC network.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
After years of leading more than a hundred cultural exchange tours we have never had an encounter with violence. Participants on our tours consistently report that while they may have felt apprehension before the tour, those feelings melted away during the journey together. News media outlets have tended to emphasize violence in Mexico, yet Nogales is considered by many to be as safe as most US cities. Precaution and common sense is always advised, however, as with travel in any city or region. We travel together in vehicles with professional drivers and we are guided by excellent local leaders.
How do we cross the border?
BCA tours typically cross the border on foot via pedestrian gate international crossings such as the Morley or DeConcini ports of entry. Our transportation vehicle with professional driver is frequently located no more than a block in distance from the international crossing.
What should I wear?
While there is not a lot of walking on any of our experiences, we encourage you to wear comfortable shoes. Men in Mexico do not generally wear shorts. Long pants or slacks are probably best for both men and women. As some of these cultural tours include visits to centuries-old Spanish colonial missions we also advise against tank or halter tops or short shorts.
What should I bring?
We encourage you to bring cold water in a reusable bottle. In an effort to be more environmentally conscious in the Sonoran Desert, we typically do not provide plastic bottle water bottles. However, there may be opportunities to purchase bottled water or other drinks during the tour in addition to tour meeting places. You may also wish to bring a hat and wear sunscreen or long sleeves to avoid sun exposure and most importantly an open mind.
What is the typical tour schedule?
Day tours typically begin with an orientation so that you can meet your fellow travelers and meet your tour guide. Schedules vary with most day tours beginning in the morning, continuing through lunch and ending in Mexico before 5:00 pm (Please note that border crossing times back to the US vary considerably; allow an hour, although it is typically less than that).
What does my tour registration fee include?
Your tour registration fee includes transportation, professional driver, meal(s), and expert guidance. Tour fees are not considered a charitable tax deduction by BCA since goods and services are provided.
Who will be our leader?
Border Community Alliance seeks to provide excellent guides, site leaders and interpreters with extensive background on the border. We are also fortunate to have FESAC, a Mexican organization that functions like a community foundation, as our partner. Our desire is to always have a guide from both countries to be able to answer your questions.
How large will the group be?
Tour groups are limited to 10 to 18 people. This provides a more intimate experience and allows the group to travel together comfortably.
Why take a BCA tour?
The story of the borderlands is not often told well, as mass media tends to offer narrow snapshots of frightening events rather than give a picture of everyday life. The dominant narrative is often negative, yet life in the region we call the borderlands is frequently positive.
As a result of this, we realized the importance of offering a cultural exchange resource open to the public for first-hand learning. We like sharing with the public what we consider the often unreported good news of the border. This is accomplished alongside the interpretation of the geography, history, culture to provide a foundation of context to the modern binational era. BCA and FESAC seek to balance the negative narrative with stories of ordinary and extraordinary people, places and perspective. We also want you to see for yourself and make up your own mind about this region and its people and to consider partnering with us in future endeavors.
Do I absolutely have to have a passport?
BCA requests that all tour participants bring their passport. While it is true that some US citizens have been able to pass customs without one - using a driver’s license or birth certificate - this is likely to cause delay for the whole group. It is better to be safe than sorry on this one.
Nonprofit Border Community Alliance does not assume responsibility for any unforeseen personal issues or complications with migration during international entry or exit.
Any questions we missed?
Please write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (520) 398-3229.