Nestled at the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border, Sasabe is a community that has long borne the weight of geographical and economic challenges. This border town, like many others in the region, grapples with unique hardships and complexities associated with its proximity to the international divide.

Amidst these challenges, the realization of the Bordertown Sasabe Playground project represents a remarkable triumph of community spirit and determination. Led by Dora Rodriguez of Casa de La Esperanza, in collaboration with dedicated School of the Americas Watch council member Mike Tork, this initiative has emerged as a beacon of hope within the bordertown of Sasabe.

A Message from Mike:

Thanks to the unwavering support of countless generous individuals, the playground now stands as a place of refuge and joy for Sasabe's children. It not only offers a secure space for them to play and explore their imaginations but also provides solace to their parents, who face the unique challenges of raising their children in this border town. The project was driven by a vision to reclaim a space and fill it with the infectious laughter of children, and it has beautifully achieved this aspiration.

A hallmark of this endeavor was its inclusivity and commitment to community engagement. Working closely with the town's mayor and the local community, the project ensured that the playground became an embodiment of the residents' vision. What truly sets it apart is the use of local labor, an essential component of the project, which injected much-needed income into Sasabe's struggling economy and instilled a sense of ownership and pride in a community that has often found such sentiments in short supply.

The success of the playground has led to further opportunities for Sasabe. The initiation of a library project, the first of its kind in town, is now underway. This forward-thinking endeavor aims to involve the community, possibly through the local school, by engaging older children as mentors for their younger peers. This holistic approach seeks to deepen community involvement and pride, offering the promise of greater sustainability in Sasabe's future.

Our deepest appreciation goes to School of the Americas Watch for their pivotal role as the fiscal sponsor of this project and their enduring support from the project's inception. Our collaboration with Dora has transformed vision into reality and has significantly impacted the Sasabe community.

As we stand in solidarity, let us remember the unique challenges faced by Sasabe and the extraordinary progress achieved through this project. Your continued support and contributions to School of the Americas Watch are now more critical than ever, ensuring that the positive change initiated here can inspire similar projects in the future.

In Solidarity, 

Mike Tork


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