Borderlands Unitarian Universalist

Amado, Arizona

Borderlands UU is on the journey of accompaniment. We are seeking to companion
humanitarian aid groups that directly address the needs of people migrating through the
Sonoran Desert. As these groups meet with border crossers offering aid, we meet with
them to support their life giving and life affirming work.

We recognize that each group’s mission and goals are unique, their approach to direct
aid ranges from saving lives in the desert to the abolition of the government agencies
enforcing policies deadly to migrants and many actions in between (read details below).
Accompaniment means that BUU will journey with each group as they live into their
mission and goals. With our mission, “We care,” and our resources we travel alongside
each group as they achieve their goals and honor their work as we cannot.

Our UUA’s Statement of Solidarity

“As Unitarian Universalists, our faith calls us toward moral action affirming the
sacredness of all life, regardless of repressive laws and legal consequences
designed to criminalize our actions.” – The Power of Presence: Your Struggle is
Ours, October 7, 2020.

The Story of the Accompaniment Project

The BUU Accompaniment project began in 2019 when our minister approached our
Board of Directors with a proposal: offer BUU’s buildings and grounds to accompany the
five direct humanitarian aid groups in Southern Arizona in their work. We love our
building and grounds, yet there are many times during the week and often on weekends
that we are not using them. “If we approached direct humanitarian groups offering the
use of our buildings and grounds when we are not, what might we do together?” The
Board was intrigued and asked him to find out what the interest might be.
Here what he initially heard: Aid in doing laundry, .“ (currently on homepage and in
About us)

People Helping People, aid in doing laundry; space to hold periodic small group
meetings or for visiting university students to overnight.

With the impact of the pandemic making in-person gatherings nearly impossible, we
shifted gears. We developed a plan to add a washer and dryer to BUU and a
GoFundMe online fundraiser to purchase, install, and buy supplies for the washer and
dryer. With the help of over 15 people (most from outside of BUU) and gifts from the
Green Valley ~ Sahaurita Samaritans, the Tucson Samaritans, and our Unitarian
Universalist Service Committee the entire project was quickly funded. B&G took up the
work and by September 2020 had a fully functioning laundry room up and running.
A Path to Accompaniment forum series was developed in 2020 as an opportunity for
education, connection, and relationship while we are still in the pandemic. The forums
proved to help reestablish connections among the five groups and building them with
BUU folks.

Links to Direct Humanitarian Aid Groups

People Helping People

Formed by Arivaca citizens in an effort to provide organized aid to the many migrants
who come through that community. A supply aid office is located in the town center
staffed by local citizens, folks from the No More Deaths and some Samaritans. The
office also provides informational pamphlets, lends and sells books, music, and t-shirts.
PHP leads an effort to close the internal Border Patrol checkpoint on Arivaca Rd.
and hosts events and educational workshops in the community, such as Know Your
Rights Trainings, Medical Trainings, Spanish Classes, and presentations about the
border/prison industrial complex and other border crises topics.

Green Valley~ Sahuarita Samaritans

A diverse group of volunteers who render aid, emergency medical assistance, food and
water to migrants in distress crossing the Sonoran Desert in the Tucson Sector of the
Arizona/Mexico border with the primary objective of preventing death.
Samaritans is a mission of Southside Presbyterian Church since 2002 and
Green Valley–Sahuarita Samaritans formed in 2004 and meet at the Good Shepherd
UCC church in Sahuarita. They drive in the desert on a weekly or daily basis supplying
water drops, searching for lost or injured migrants and assist weekly at El Comedor, a
soup kitchen mission of the Jesuits in Nogales, Sonora for migrants recently deported.
Samaritans also attend Operation Streamline in Federal Court to be witnesses and a
kind presence to migrants in that process and have cooperative relations with the
Border Patrol agents in the field.

No More Deaths ~ No Más Muertes

An official ministry of the UU Church of Tucson, a coalition of community and
faith groups. Founded in 2004, an aid camp SE of Arivaca was established where
medical aid and respite are rendered to migrants found in the desert and
mountains. Participants are often college students on break or summer leave.
The ministry utilizes hiking search methods, water/food drops on trails, medical aid,
overt civil actions around human rights issues, and research. They have
published studies of neglect and abuse of migrants by Border Patrol, treatment in
detention facilities and other human rights issues related to migrants.

Tucson Samaritans

Samaritans is a mission of Southside Presbyterian Church since 2002. A diverse group
of volunteers who render aid, emergency medical assistance, food and water to
migrants in distress crossing the Sonoran Desert in the Tucson Sector of the
Arizona/Mexico border with the primary objective of preventing death.

Come to BUU for a visit

Directions to Borderlands Unitarian Universalist Church

Amado Territory Ranch, 15 County Line Rd., Amado, Arizona. From Highway 19 take the Arivaca exit, turn east and go through the stop sign to County Line Rd. We are the first building on the North end of the ranch.