Voices from the Border is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in Patagonia, Arizona which formed following the Women’s March of January 2017.
Our mission is to provide humanitarian aid, medical care, and support to migrants, asylum seekers and those living in extreme poverty in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
We do this by financially and physically supporting the work of Nurse/Medical Assistant Francisco (Pancho) Olachea Martin as he drives his ambulance from the port of entry, the arrival point of migrants seeking asylum, to local hospitals and shelters, providing the only free medical care to migrants and asylum seekers in Nogales, Sonora.
This support is provided by volunteers, and we have no administrative overhead. Our current monthly operational budget is $1200 US. With this amount, we are able to provide free medical care which includes medicines - OTC and prescriptions, diagnostic tests, emergency procedures, and emergency dental work. Depending on the needs of the month, we may spend some of it on clothing or hygiene items that we need but *haven’t received in donations. This amount also covers gas for our two used ambulances.
*We also collect donations of seasonally appropriate clothing, blankets, hygiene supplies, toys, and art and school supplies that we distribute as needed.
Our specific fundraising goals are :
1. To continue to have enough money in the bank to cover our monthly operational budget
2. To have enough money outside of our operational budget to cover the ongoing maintenance and repairs on our two well-worn ambulances. The streets of Nogales are rough and our ambulances take a beating. They are hard-used. Why do we have two? One is a converted van and we use that more for day to day services and transport. The other - a standard van ambulance - we use for medical calls and emergencies. And, because they’re so well-worn, it’s not uncommon that one needs maintenance, so with two, we’re always in business.
Our dream goal is to have enough money to buy a newer model ambulance that won’t have nearly as many maintenance issues. But for now, we’re making what we have work.
Another part of our mission is to educate not just those in our local southern Arizona communities, but to also disseminate accurate information about the true experiences of life on the border to our national and global community. We were very fortunate to have Change Stream Media, a Seattle-based, volunteer-powered nonprofit promoting health, education, and social justice through digital storytelling, spend a day with us this spring to help us tell our story. Watch the short video here.
We support and promote speakers, authors, art, and theater, as a means to educate and create a more holistic understanding of life at the US/Mexico border.
We strive to do our work compassionately with open hearts and open minds and we hope that you will help us to continue our service through your generous contribution.