After two intense months of traveling the trip ends…
We have met so many new friends. We’ve shared workshops; every single one of them was a unique and spectacular experience. We have presented the play in different places; always looking for new forms. Sometimes more succesful than other times, but everytime it has been unique.
What lies behind us…
The play in Coatzacoalcos was spectacular; we presented on the railroad tracks. The participation of the audience, most of them migrants, the participation of the passing cars and even the train, our invited cast; they all made this night one we will never forget. In Guadalajara we presented the play alongside local grupo Raíces, offering a night of theater and migration in benefit of pro-migrant organization FM4 Paso Libre. In Tucson, we showed the play in a church, where we had the opportunity to explore the ritual elements of the play more. In the Fringe Festival in New Orleans we were able to share the experiences of the whole trip, with participation of the members of dance group NOHA. It was a series of four, where for the first time we were able to develop the play over several days. They were four nights full of emotion. To be able to take (an essence of) the reality of migration to the stage in a theater festival was wonderful.
We had the honour of presenting and conducting workshops – in a unique format everytime – in Tapachula, Mexico City and Saltillo. And we shared workshops in Tecún Umán, Arriaga, Ixtepec, Ciudad Juárez and Riverside, California. We led an informative presentation of the project for people that were interested in Tultepec, Tucson, Riverside and New Orleans.
We are grateful for everyone that has given us the opportunity to be able to do this work.
Although most of the trip went according to plan (except for a day more or less in some places… and except for the time we got lost driving), we made an important decision to skip the states of Sonora and Baja California in our itinerary while in Tucson. This would have meant some intense days of traveling and more border crossing. We decided to stay in Tucson to reflect, and to work on the necessary preparations for our stay in California and Louisiana.
In Riverside, California, the presentation of the play was cancelled by the place where we would perform. Luckily, the people at Blood Orange Infoshop invited us to present the project, in which we used theater elements and a procession with candles before the event.
The experiences in this project have been more than we are able to write. The most enriching ones have been the moments of human contact with all the people we have met along the way.
A strong experience has also been the first contact with the train in Arriaga. It was the first time that we saw what we had been seeing in documentaries for so long. The rails, the train, the sound of the horn have started to mean other things to us, that they used to. Even in New Orleans – where we had barely noticed its existence last year – the train and its sounds followed us.
The border crossing was another special experience; the questions asked, and the extreme difference between two countries that are neighbours. When we accompanied Sara and Elisa of the Tucson Samaritans we also saw the border wall in Sasabe, Arizona. The bottles of water left by migrants on the other side, the seemingly impossible crossing. And then the end of the wall; people can basically just walk around it! We talked to a border patrol agent that in the middle of a casual conversation asked us where we were from and if we had our passports on us. Another agent was a little mad at us for having “crossed” into Mexico to take a picture. “We have it on camera!”
This same day we walked through the desert to leave water and food. We thought we had seen some migrants, but they turned out to be cattle. If there were migrants around there they would be difficult to find, specially without all the technology Border Patrol has. And for them it will also be difficult to find the water drop spots… In the 45 minute walk we were attacked by both sun and jumping cactus. It’s hard to imagine walking around there for days…
We have a lot to digest. Many have asked us if this trip has changed our lives. We think so, but… how? We will surely find out soon.
We have received many invitations to keep on going with this project. It’s possible we do a second version, taking into account all the previous experiences and recommendations. But… first we will need time to reflect on what we have have seen, done and experiences. After that we will be working on a documentary of the trip… and then… next year, we will keep you informed about future plans!
In the next couple of days we will also be updating our photos….
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