RCE Greater Atlanta - 2019

Short of their Destination: Next Steps for the Migrant Caravan
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Short of their Destination: Next Steps for the Migrant Caravan
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Atlanta
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Greater Atlanta in collaboration with RCE Borderlands USA-Mexico
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Brittany Foutz
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Atlanta
Yesenia Sanchez Garcia
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Borderlands USA-Mexico
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
English, Spanish
Date of submission:
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The state of Chihuahua is made up of three geologic regions: Mountains, Plains-Valleys, and Desert, which occur in large bands from west to east. Because of the different geologic regions there are contrasting climates and ecosystems. Chihuahua has the fifth highest manufacturing GDP in Mexico and ranks second for the most factories funded by foreign investment in the country. The median age of the population is 25 years. During the period from 2000–2005 it is estimated that 49,722 people left the state for the United States. It is believed that there is a large number of undocumented immigrants in that state the come from Central and South America which mainly settle in Ciudad Juárez. According to the 2005 census, the population grew 1.06% from 2000 to 2005.
The city of Atlanta in Georgia is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. At 1,050 feet above mean sea level, Atlanta has one of the highest elevations among major cities east of the Mississippi River. Most of Atlanta was burned during the Civil War, depleting the city of a large stock of its historic architecture. The Atlanta metropolitan area's economy is the tenth-largest in the country and among the top 20-largest in the world. Corporate operations play a major role in Atlanta's economy, as the city claims the nation's third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. The racial makeup and population of Atlanta was 54.0% Black or African American, 38.4% White, 3.1% Asian and 0.2% Native American. Those from some other race made up 2.2% of the city's population, while those from two or more races made up 2.0%. Hispanics of any race made up 5.2% of the city's population. 22.6% percent of the population was living below the poverty line. Atlanta has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
SDGs 1 and 10 both affect where the immigrants are traveling and residing in Chihuahua and Atlanta in terms of addressing their lack of economic opportunities. SDG 4 is huge from the immigrants coming from Atlanta and traveling from Chihuahua to get to the U.S. There is a significant need to provide education for the migrants that are already here to give then the right tools that they need to go back to their home country and help it prosper.
February, 2019
It seems that everywhere that we look there is a problem with immigration. This has grown so much that it has gotten the attention of the global community. We must be doing something wrong if several countries have the same issues. Inequality is commonly known within a country as:
“the gap between the rich and the poor, the advantaged and the disadvantaged with regard to education, availability of resources and access to opportunities is widening in spite of urbanization, developments in science and technology, knowledge generation and the information explosion”. However, if we look at it in a global scale, we can see that there is inequality between countries.The developed countries are surpassing expectations in growth and are abusing of their lifestyles. While the underdeveloped or developing countries are below any levels which corners their citizens to flee. People with the disadvantage of being raised in a country that is underdeveloped are pushed to leave in search of something better. Hundreds of people in a caravan that crossed from Honduras into Guatemala staged a bid to breach the Mexican border. Migrants poured through Guatemalan border posts, only to be halted by dozens of Mexican police in riot gear U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that the Central American caravan must be stopped before it reaches the U.S., and Honduras and Guatemala said that they were mobilizing to assist the return of Honduran migrants to their homeland. The migrants that have arrived in Chihuahua and have not made it to the United States are not going anywhere. he arrival of Central American migrants has caused dozens of people seeking to cross the border from Mexico to the United States have to wait or unable to cross international crossings in Chihuahua, due to the lack of US customs agents who were sent to California and Arizona to prevent the passage of the migrant caravan. The migrants and their supporters have said they have been forced to abandon their homeland countries because of corrupt governments, extreme poverty and horrific violence from gangs and other criminals where lawlessness rules. The Central American migrants come mostly from Honduras but also includes those from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The main objective of this project is to shed a light on the people that have been left floating until politicians figure out what to do with them. While governments discuss what’s best for their country, men, women and children are left to starve, with no access to education, no job opportunities and what seems to them, no future. We sought to find the core of the problem and help solve it. If the global distribution of wealth was balanced there would be no problem of immigration. People would not have to leave their countries in order to have a decent lifestyle. It is not a bad thing to have some countries richer than others. However, it becomes a bad thing when the differences in these countries reflect on their access to clean water, education, food, decent job opportunities or any of the basic necessities of life. The global gap between the rich and the poor has grown too much over the year and there are countries today where a family can afford to have 4 cars and other countries where a family doesn’t even have a roof over their head.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
In the Chihuahua local community:
1. CIERVO: a group created by university students to help the less fortunate in our community, we started with the migrants that have been left floating in our community, by giving the food, clothing, and a “survival kit” with personal hygiene items and blankets…
2. Reached out to local businesses to help the migrants get jobs (the industrial business in chihuahua is very big)
3. Reached out to local school and universities to help them get scholarships to continue their education
4. INFONAVIT – government housing program
5. Seguro popular – governmental health services (help then have access to medical attention)
6. La casa del migrante – an institution that has been put in place for migrants that are left in Chihuahua, it lacks funding, food and is not at an easy access point
7. Law initiative to address the migrants who are already here and help then defend their human rights
In Atlanta, Georgia:
1. Partnership with the International Rescue Committee and Kennesaw State University School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding, and Development students
Size of academic audience: 
We helped provide education for the migrants that are already here to give then the right tools that they need to go back to their home country and help it prosper. We also helped with job opportunities (this is hard because some countries don’t even have enough jobs for their own people…). Thirdly we helped them find homes for now (this is also hard because some, probably the majority won’t want to move back).
Lessons learned: 
The importance of working together with RCE locations to form bonds and use our various language skills to help others. We learned that it is difficulty coordinating efforts between the Americas RCE youth networks due to language barriers. However, through our partnership with RCE Greater Atlanta and RCE Borderlands Mexico-USA, we helped solve those barriers and use our connections to present then at the Americas conference a strategy to connect our youth networks in the Americas.
Key messages: 
The migrants that have arrived in Chihuahua and mostly do not make it to the United States, but not going anywhere. Not because they don’t want to but because they don’t have the resources to do so. Therefore, these people are living among the less fortunate and begging for meals. This has increased significantly the levels of poverty and inequality not only in Chihuahua but also in surrounding border states. Been declared a "humanitarian crisis" in response to the large number of migrants in cities. For example, over 5,000 members of the caravan were staying at a stadium, which is a structure with a capacity of 3,000. Frustrated by the slow pace of asylum application processing, which is approximately 60 per day, and the dire living conditions in their tent cities, they have attempted to bypass the Mexican Federal Police to reach the border wall when a commotion occurred. A member of the caravan was caught on video throwing rocks at border agents while at the border wall. In response, the United States Border Patrol launched tear gas over the border at the group, which included women and children, and subsequently shut down the crossing for six hours. The caravan needs the help of our RCE network.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level