Field School 2018 Wraps Week 1: Monsoon Rains, Indigenous History, Restoration Economy Big Ideas, and Arts & Culture Along Ambos Nogales
Lily Christopher, Field School Facilitator, reflects on our first week of Borderlands Restoration Network's First Week of Field School 2018.
On July 16th Borderlands Restoration Network kicked off our second annual Field School. With eleven participants representing five different nations, we began by orienting the group with their new home for the next four weeks. Amy Juan opened with the indigenous history of the area. We toured the San Rafael Valley with Ron Pulliam and Gooch Goodwin where we were able to see the border and learn the history of the sky islands. While driving in the valley, we received an extraordinary monsoon rain. What could be a better introduction to this beautiful borderland region?
As the week continued, we offered introductions to the hydrology and geology of the area that included tours of abandoned mine sites. We explored some of the geopolitical issues surrounding the borderlands region with talks from Father John Fife, founder of No More Deaths, and our very own David Seibert, BR Managing Partner. By Thursday, we were ready to start delving into what BRN does best, restoration ecology and the restoration economy. With talks from Executive Director Kurt Vaughn and founder Ron Pulliam, we started an ongoing dialogue with participants about some of BRN’s foundational and developing big ideas.
We ended the week by exploring a small slice of the arts and culture of the Borderlands, with a photography exhibit at our local Tin Shed Theater with RAEchel Running, curator of the Lens on the Border photography exhibit. Then we wrapped up the week with a creative activity along the ambos Nogales border, with regional author Francisco Cantú. After which, a group of participants left for an optional field trip to Sonora to explore some farms, ranches, and archeological sites on the other side of the line.
Check back with us later this week for photographs and reflections from Field School participants about their experiences during the field trip across the border.