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Borderlands Earth Care Youth


Borderlands Earth Care Youth (BECY) inspires and trains the next generation of land stewards by hiring culturally diverse youth living on the US/Mexico borderlands to restore the transnational watersheds they call home. Youth work with rock, wood, seeds, hands, and hearts to return flowing waters and riverside ecosystems to the arid borderlands.

Interns work alongside conservation professionals to make grassroots systemic change in historically overlooked and underserved communities. Simultaneously, youth learn leadership skills and are empowered to develop tiered leadership roles with increased responsibility, accountability, and empathy. Since beginning in 2012, 188 youth have graduated from BECY.

Questions? Contact Jordan Sene, Education Program Manager, at



BECY provides paid internships for youth ages 15-18 to learn practical, marketable skills in watershed restoration, ecosystem restoration, and community restoration. Currently, programs are based out of the Douglas and Patagonia communities. Crews are comprised of 10 youth, with two designated as youth leaders. 

​Each crew develops experiences and vocabulary in teamwork, leadership, and empathy while following a curriculum of habitat restoration in the following structure: Watershed Restoration, Ecosystem Restoration, and Community Restoration. Those interested in applying should be prepared for physically strenuous but fulfilling activities in some of the most beautiful locations the Arizona/Sonora border has to offer.

Paco Cantu

Essays from the Borderlands
By: Arizona Public media

Story from Arizona Public Media about The University of Arizona Southwest Field Studies in Writing residency program. Each year three creative writing graduate students come to Patagonia for two weeks to write, research and connect with borderlands communities and teach creative writing to BECY interns.

NFWF Bezos Earth Fund

Youth & Environmental Stewardship
by: NFWF

Thank you National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Bezos Earth Fund for the support of Borderlands Earth Care Youth!


Check out this beautiful video created to highlight the collaboration with Borderlands Earth Care Youth, who restored dry watersheds in the Chiricahua Mountains and the upper Gila River Watershed.

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BECY 2023: Sock Puppet Edition
By: Drey Kipnis & Birdie Baer 

Check out this creative video by 2023 BECY Patagonia interns Drey Kipnis and Birdie Baer presented as their reflection project at the conclusion of the course. Meet cute Rhandey and Steivh as they walk us through their favorite memories from their summer experience working to restore the borderlands with BRN!

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By: Jordan Sene

 “I still remember how awesome an experience BECY was for me as a first-time student, so now returning as a facilitator is a way to help instill passion and caring for the environment in the next generation. The folks at BRN are all so inspiring and always remind me that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, we all share this planet and are responsible for its future..." 

BECY Interns and Erosion Control

BECY 2021
by: Valeria Cabello

Take a ride through the 2021 BECY program from the perspective of the participants themselves. One participant, Valeria Cabello documented and interviewed fellow BECY interns through out the course, creating a touching and authentic video that we can't stop watching. 

Image by Lane Gore

Careers in conservation


Thinking about a career in conservation? Check out our resource guide to learn all about ways to work in support of nature. 


Enjoy some deeper insights into the BECY program through our annual program reports.


 Thank you to our current and past funders and partners who make this important program possible!

47 Ranch, Arevalos Farm, Barboot Ranch, City of Douglas, Coronado National Forest, Cuenca Los Ojos, Douglas High School Land Lab, Douglas Public Library, El Coronado Ranch, Harris Heritage Farm, Home Grown Instruments, Huachuca City Community Garden, Madrean Archipelago Plant Propagation Center, Malpai Borderlands Group, Milagros del Desierto, Patagonia, The Patagonia Museum, Patagonia Public Library, Patagonia Regional Community Fund, Patagonia Union High School, Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center, Santa Fe Ranch Foundation, Southwestern Research Station, Sycamore Ranch, T4 Ranch, Town of Patagonia, University of Arizona Southwest Field Studies in Writing, Winkler Ranch, US Geological Survey, Wildlife Corridor LLC, Youth Conservation Corps

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