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Border Delegations

Join a Labor Solidarity Delegation to the Mexican Border

Reflection of Pamela Brouker, Reynosa Delegation (March 12-14, 2010)

For over ten years (1999-2009) Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, a close ally of Women on the Border, has been organizing delegations to  visit maquiladora communities and maquiladora workers in Mexico.  You  are invited to be a part of this powerful experience.

The delegations  are hosted by a maquiladora workers' organization, the Comite  Fronterizo de Obreras (Border Committee of Women Workers or CFO) based in Piedras Negras, Coahuila (next to Eagle Pass, Texas).    The CFO's mission is to empower workers through knowledge of their rights under La Ley Federal del Trabajo (Mexico's federal labor law).     Visiting delegates may not only meet with workers in their communities and homes to hear their stories but also can observe the training of workers in the midst of active struggles or strategic planning to confront a specific employer. Social events with workers provide opportunities to form closer bonds and to see the human face of NAFTA at work along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The border delegation provides a truly unique opportunity for anyone interested in understanding  the role of the maquiladoras in today's increasingly globalized economy. The intimate nature of the delegation provides both insight and a direct relationship to those in the front  lines of the struggle against corporate led globalization.  Join us  for a trip that not only informs, but personally connects you to this  struggle.

SLIDESHOW (Reynosa Delegation 2006) (.mov)   QuickTime Player Download

Email contact for Austin Tan Cerca de La Frontera or WOB Director

Reflections by visitors from Past Delegations

Student Delegations

NIU Delegation 2005 (ppt)

Suggested Readings

  • Norma Iglesias Prieto, Beautiful Flowers of the Maquiladora: Life Histories of Women Workers in Tijuana 8-9 (Michael Stone & Gabrielle Winkler trans., 1997).
  • Devon G. Peņa, The Terror of the Machine: Technology, Work, Gender and Ecology on the U.S.-Mexico Border 46-51(1997)
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, By the Lake of the Sleeping Children: The Secret Life on the Mexican Border (1996)
    A powerful critique of the impact of American consumerism and free trade policy in the lives of Mexico's poorest of the poor, those who end up living off the dump of the city of Tijuana (sister city to San Diego, California).
  • Luis Urrea, Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border (1993)
  • Kathleen Staudt and Irasema Coronado, Fronteras No Mas: Toward Social Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border (2002)


"Maquilas: A Tale of Two Mexicos" 
Documentary film by Saul Landau and Sonia Angulo (Review)

Other Resources

Student Project on the Study of Gender, Globalization and Human Rights

Comite Fronterizo de Obreras (cfo)