Kino Border Immersion

Nicholas Ortega ‘24
This past week a group of 6 Belen Students traveled to Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales Sonora, Mexico. From the 5th to the 10th of November the students were exposed to the harsh realities of those living on the border between Mexico and America via the Kino Border Initiative

“What we learned standing on both sides of the border, is that it can only be understood using the lens of Christ,” said Teresita Gonzalez, Christian Service Coordinator. “Only with abundant love and tenderness can we understand the horrific circumstances that bring people to these places seeking refuge and those that live alongside that suffering. Only through the lens of Christ can we embrace the truth of both trauma and hope and navigate through the complexity in order to respond as people of faith must.”

They were able to serve those in need through Kino’s “comedor” shelter in Nogales Sonora as well as participate in everyday conversation with those receiving food. Students also spoke to American Border Patrol Agents, learning about the way in which the U.S. protects its borders and what issues our country is facing from its southern border. Another key experience was the mass and conversations with the ranchers in Arivaca, Arizona, and learning about their experiences with cartels smuggling drugs across the border. Through all of these amazing opportunities, the most important and influential experience that these students participated in was listening to stories by migrants. One of the more influential stories told was by a Honduran woman who had to leave her town abruptly due to cartel violence. After traveling the long journey from Honduras to northern Mexico with her small child she immediately attempted to gain asylum status within the U.S. COVID-19 has only added to this with asylum acceptance being temporarily stopped. The woman was able to find temporary safety at Kino but she, and many others in this situation, are put in horrible situations with the lack of asylum process. 

Overall, the trip was an eye-opening experience for the students, learning about the true reality of a seemingly simple situation and how it affects those unfortunate enough to get involved.  

On Monday, November 22 at 3 p.m. in the Cosculluela Hall, those of you who are interested in hearing more are invited to a prayerful gathering in which the students will share their stories and pictures. Belen Jesuit students interested in participating in this immersion experience should contact Christian Service Coordinator Mrs. Gonzalez at
500 SW 127th Avenue, Miami, FL 33184
phone: 305.223.8600 | fax: 305.227.2565 | email:
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain.  The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline.  In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty.  The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow.  Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.