Friday, January 20, 2012

Los ‘Transfronterizos’ de Peñasco!

-by El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"

I’ll never forget years back when I hit the border at Sonoyta one bright and early morning and while getting gas on the AZ side in Lukeville at the Chevron I noticed scores of school children coming across the Mexico side of the ‘line’ and shortly thereafter Arizona school buses were there to pick ‘em up.

I remember thinking that those children must be from Sonoyta and found myself puzzled as to how they could live in one country but ‘cross’ to attend school, daily, in another nation but concluded, initially, it was some sort of Sonoyta sponsored school field trip…

As it turned out I was wrong. Spanning thousands of miles at all the border crossings from the Tijuana/San Diego border to Ciudad Juarez/El Paso these students, known as ‘Transfronterizos’, (including U.S. (student) Citizens living in Mexico) are crossing every school day of the year to get an education.

I’ve always been aware of adults permanently living in Mexico fairly near the border who cross over to the U.S. side to work and then return home at the end of their shift. But the student thing was new to me and although I’m not aware of any children traveling from Peñasco to attend school in AZ I have read that some kids in the TJ/SD border region come from as far inland as 20-30 miles away.

This all got me thinking about that convention center that is going to be built here even though we already have one at the Penasco Del Sol (formerly Plaza Las Glorias) Hotel. But more specifically how that amount of money, millions of dollars, could/should be used on education/schools/children here in Peñasco whether or not any are ‘Transfronterizos’.

Please note that I said ‘how that amount of money’ could/should be used. Meaning a really good education is the great equalizer in all societies and every community, regardless of its size, wealth and/or lack thereof has, IMHO, a moral obligation to all the children in their community to provide each and every one of them the best education possible.

It is after all ‘us’ who bring them into this world. It is ‘us’ who guide them through those first few years of life, teach them basic skills such as language, etc. and then at around age 5 we turn them over to the public school system and ‘hope’ the teachers can carry the ball and guide the kids toward a brighter future.

And it is at that critical point, especially for kids being reared by those of ‘us’ who may not be equipped financially, emotionally or both to raise children, that these kids pretty much start down that long road of getting ‘it’ all right or not. Sadly there is absolutely no shortage of those kids who then grow up and get ‘it’ all wrong and live lives that are less than rewarding or fulfilling (to say the least).

So the next time you are approached with the opportunity to help our schools here in Peñasco with a donation please think big, reach as deep as you can regardless if the ‘cause’ is to buy clothes for needy school kids, computers, sports equipment or whatever.

Just give as best as you can and although you may not personally witness the smile on those children’s faces who are the recipients of your kindness and generosity I can assure you that if you just picture those smiling faces in your mind it will warm your heart for many years to come.

A Gypsy can always dream!

¡Viva Puerto Peñasco y México!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain