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El Paso, Texas / Ciudad Juárez, México

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Apr 17 2020 - Apr 22 2020


All of the day



Border Pilgrimage / Peregrinación A La Frontera

This event has been canceled. 

The Border Pilgrimage is a spiritual, immersive, and action-oriented experience in El Paso, Texas, and Cuidad Juárez, Mexico. Through site visits, volunteering, and spiritual practice this group will learn more about border communities, come to a deeper understanding of migrant people’s experience, and strengthen engagement for immigrant justice. Our experienced partners at Hope Border Institute have assisted in preparing activities, teachings, and various opportunities on both sides of the border to deepen resolve for engaging in advocacy and relief response.

Each day will include a rhythm of contemplative practice, learning environments, guided reflection and dialogue.

The cost of this pilgrimage is $1200 which includes airfare, lodging and most meals. 

This trip is only open to the congregation of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, OR. We are looking for people interested in the intersection of spirituality and action with a focus on immigrant justice. Because there will be multiple border crossings into Cuidad Juárez, a valid passport is required (valid through May 2020). Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, able to walk up to 10 miles, and able to complete moderate manual labor tasks required while volunteering.

Airfare will be arranged with a travel agent by Trinity Episcopal Church. The group will depart Portland, OR in the morning of April 17 and return in the evening of April 22. All transportation will be provided in El Paso and Juarez; participants may be required to walk to certain site visits and be on their feet for extended periods of time. 


– Cultural training provided by Hope Border Institute
– Visit with migrant people and volunteer at shelters and community centers in Juárez, México.
– Attend immigration court proceedings in El Paso, TX
– Learn from local advocates and activists
– Visit Tornillo, TX, site of the 2018 child migrant tent detention facility
– Tour historic Hueco Tanks State Park
– Guided pilgrimage prayer walk along the border

Each day also includes guided spiritual practice and intentional dialogue.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020 ($150 deposit must accompany application). 

Sign of solidarity for the children held in the detention camp in Tornillo, TX

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Because God is always with you.”
Joshua 1:9

Ben Lindwall is the Executive Director of HEARTBEAT, based in Portland, OR and has been leading spiritually oriented trips for over a decade. He is a certified Spiritual Director and is also certified in First Aid. Ben made the pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona in Scotland in 2011 and has since been mentored by John Philip and Ali Newell.

Mira Ayala is a community organizer with the Oregon Synod of the ELCA working primarily among Spanish-speakers in Portland, OR, seeking to build communities of deep relationship, mutual accompaniment, and action. With Heartbeat Journey, she has participated in the NW Coastal Pilgrimage and completed the leader apprenticeship program. When not drinking coffee with neighbors, Mira is probably with her 8-yr-old son, Auggie, on her bike, or walking in the woods. 

Ilka Vega is the Community Engagement Specialist at Hope Border Institute. She is originally from El Paso, TX and Cd. Juarez, Mexico area. Pilgrimages are an essential part of her upbringing. She has made five formal pilgrimages to Taize, France and Iona, Scotland and tries to implement similar spiritual practices and reflections in her travels and daily life at the border and in her work for social justice.

To apply, please complete the online application. A $150 deposit must accompany the application. Scholarships are available depending on financial need. Please indicate whether you are seeking scholarship assistance on the application. All those interested in attending must complete an application whether they are seeking a scholarship or not.

If selected to participate, the remaining balance of the registration fee ($1,050) will be due by March 13. If your application is not accepted, your deposit will be refunded. CANCELLATIONS: once you confirm your participation and pay the registration fee, refunds will not be possible unless another person is able to fill your spot. 

Ciudad Juárez, México

  • Each participant must be over 18 years of age or older, able to walk up to 10 miles, and able to complete moderate manual labor tasks required while volunteering.
  • Each participant must have a passport valid through May 2020.
  • The group will make multiple crossings into Cuidad Juárez, Mexico and make use of taxi transportation. All applicants must review government warnings associated with crossing into Cuidad Juárez, Mexico.
  • Each participant will need to bring money for lunch each day and two dinners (average of $10 per meal for a total of $80).
  • Each participant will need to purchase individual travel insurance (approximately $40 – $70).
  • Each participant will need to provide medical insurance information.
  • Each participant will need to complete pre-trip study work including reading articles, watching video and listening to podcasts.
  • Each participant will need to bring any gear needed to complete the packing list (see below)
  • Each participant will need to affirm our Pilgrimage Community Commitments and Conflict Resolution Process as well as our  Code of Conduct Commitments if participating in a rally, demonstration, or protest.
  • Each participant will need to carefully read and sign Heartbeat’s Release and Indemnification Waiver.

Laundry is available on-site. Please pack an outfit you feel comfortable wearing during cultural events and visiting detention centers as well as two outfits for volunteer work/hiking. Note that open-toe shoes (sandals) and shorts are not allowed during court observance. 

– Socks
– Underwear
– Comfortable sports bra
– Pants
– Shorts
–  T-shirts
– Long sleeve shirt
– Sweater
– Lightweight hiking shoes that can also be used for volunteer work
– Light sandal or flip flop
– Rain jacket
– Warm beanie/hat
– Hat to shield from the sun

– Work gloves
– Dust mask
– Water bottle
– Backpack (smaller daypack size)
– Earplugs
– Laundry detergent (powder, small pack)
– Journal and pen or pencil
– Camera phone and charger

-Journal and pen
– $80 to cover lunch each day and two dinners

– Personal and emergency medication
– Sunscreen
– Toothbrush and toothpaste
– Soap
– Shampoo/conditioner
– Pain reliever (Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol)
– Feminine products