Working for the Foundation The Middle Years Immigration Project
1989 - 1991 1992 - 2006 2007 - 2014
For over 30 years, I have been involved in community development in Sonora, Mexico. My participation began in the late 1980s when I volunteered for the "Flying Doctors and Dentists" from Tucson AZ. They worked alongside a Mexican child assistance foundation or "FAI". For the next three years I became an employee at FAI, entrusted with writing reports for sponsors and translating grants. I traveled into remote villages, slept on burlap cots, ate tortillas made from fresh-ground corn, and learned the Spanish of the camposinos. In those days, most rural homes had no electricity or indoor plumbing.
In the 1990s, things began to change. State government put in solar power and FAI installed community water systems. But a devastating drought made water scarce and expensive. Harvesting became difficult or impossible. People dispersed to the cities or to the United States. I became increasingly disenchanted with the views on immigration in the U.S. In 2007, I decided to investigate the true Mexican experience of migration. I made portraits and interviewed over 15 families who had at least one loved one living in the United States. The consensus was overwhelmingly in favor of staying home. Most people only left out of desperation. Currently, I continue my involvement in Sonora and the Foundation. I do so for pleasure and admiration of the Mexican spirit .