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December 6 , 2006 Volume 1, Issue 1


The Exchange

The Annual International Conference for HATB Coordinators and other guests held in Rocky Point on Sept. 2123, 2006 was well attended with approximately 150 attendees. Highlighting the event was the honoring of the Palominas and Arizpe Schools for their pioneering spirit and to celebrate their 25 Years of Successful Exchanges. Although Janet Torres could not be present, Tim Kearney, Clayton Cox and Dr. Lee Hager, Superintendent, accepted special awards during the evening celebration. Tim and Dr. Hager also participated in the opening ceremonies on Friday which gave the audience the opportunity to hear about Tim's feelings for the program. Also recognized was the "champion" behind today's program at Palominas, Mark Schutter, who because of family reasons could not be present at the conference. Attending and accepting the award on behalf of the Arizpe schools was Rebecca Guerrero, Principal of the Primary School. All of the Palominas and Arizpe Coordinators are to be congratulated for their dedication to the program. dedication to students and for her great strides in demonstrating to her peers, parents and administrators the great benefits that can be realized from a student exchange program. Thank you, Lori, for you efforts and steadfastness. You represent the work and commitment of all the HATB Coordinators who year after year carry out the Program. Special guests honored included Carlos Nagel, long time adviser and cultural trainer who paved the way for the first exchange between Palominas and Arizpe and helped with the first steps of many of our exchanges. Judy Freeman, long time supporter and intercultural specialist for HATB was also recognized for her many years of service and for pioneering the training manual and for her role in development of the "Guide to Mexico" Curriculum.

The Hands Across The Border Foundation (520) 408-6990

Newsletter Highlights:

· 2006 Conference Update · 25 Years and Going Strong · Letter from a Member

September Conference '06 Touted As "Best Ever"

Individual Highlights:

25 years and going strong Letter 3 4

Parents Speak Out 5 HATB History Last Story 6 6

In addition to the recognition and award dinner, special training was conducted by Richard and Barbara Dash, consultants from Colorado in the fields of cultural communication and trauma. Richard provided a fresh examination of the phases reflected in a pyramid that people go through to be able to effectively communicate, work and resolve issues when working with other cultures. Barbara Another highlight of the conference was in a separate session presented a recognizing our schools for their years passionate presentation on recognizing of participation: Horizon Community trauma, especially in children and how Learning Center-10 yrs., trauma can be disabling and affects a Liberty/Estrella Schools-20 yrs., young life. She addressed the problem Flowing Wells Jr. High-10 yrs., from a classroom and student exchange Huachuca City School-15 yrs., Gilbert perspective so that HATB Coordinators Elementary School-10 yrs., and could be given the techniques and skills to Palominas Elementary and Junior High recognize such a problem and to deal with Schools. The prestigious Gene Brust the situation until professional help could Award was given to Lori Vanover, be sought by parents. On the last day of HATB Coordinator from Akimel Middle the conference Richard, with Barbara's School. Lori was praised for her assistance took the audience through some team/group exercises that in some ways demonstrated our inability to trust one another but also emphasized the need for collective approaches to planning and preparing a student exchange. HATB

The Exchange Continued From Page 1...

team/group exercises that in some ways demonstrated our inability to trust one another but also emphasized the need for collective approaches to planning and preparing a student exchange. HATB Coordinators received a Lori Vanover receives prestigious certificate for the conference training "Gene Brust Award. Left To Right: hours which can be used in their continuing education process. Alicia Bristow, Executive Direct; Lori Vanover, HATB Coordinator, rd On the morning of the 23 a special and Panfilo Contreras, HATB HATB-MATF breakfast meeting was Board President. held. MATF leaders Arq Aguilar and Arturo Silva were present along with SEC staff members, Yamilett Martinez, Director of Teacher and Student Exchanges and Rosario Ruiz, General Director of the Manos a Traves de la Frontera Program. Attending the conference from HATB was Board president Panfilo Contreras, Sec. /Treasurer Bob Casillas; and board members Fred Czarnowski and Jon Dunbar. The board members used this opportunity to talk about the binational coordination of the program, to review the status of both foundations and to Palominas Students and Teachers are determine direction for the upcoming treated to a lesson on Arizpes new year. "Smart Board" in the classroom. I would be remiss if I did not mention the enormous obstacles we experienced at the conference. We look back at the situation now and laugh, but at the time it was somewhat stressful for the staff and puzzling for participants. First, unknown to the group, President Fox decided to visit the hotel (the conference site) on the day we started our event. While the hotel jumped into action; our plans for registration quickly changed from being inside the lobby to outside on a patio in the heat. Metal detectors were placed at the doors along with armed guards so our attendees had to pass through security before enter ing the hotel. Later in the afternoon people were discouraged from entering the lobby area. The hotel as you can imagine was on heightened security with federal police, and plain clothed agents. HATB/MATF attendees were flexible

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and even joked that President Fox was th here for the 25 Anniversary Conference. Our next challenge reared its head on Friday morning when gusts of wind generated from a hurricane off the west coast hit Rocky Point about 4 a.m. and toppled our general session tent next to the golf course. The hotel sprang into action to charter buses and made arrangements with two other hotels for the general sessions. Again, our HATB/MATF attendees treated the changes as a "great adventure" and I do not believe I heard one discouraging word. There was questioning about the changes, but all in all attendees stayed true to their form and merrily maneuvered the obstacles placed in their path. In spite of the many challenges, people who filled out the evaluations at the end of the conference said that this was the best conference ever. Next year's annual conference will be held in September and it is the HATB Foundation's turn to host. The event will most likely be held in the Tucson area. We will keep you posted on dates and location. Thank all of you who made this year's annual conference a great success.

HATB bestows honors on Mark Schuttner,Principal, Palominas Schools for his dedication to the program.

Accepting a special award for 25 Years of Excellence are the Palominas and Arizpe Coordinators, Palominas School District Superintendent. Congratulations Palominas! Left to Right: Arq. Aguilar, Arturo Silva, Tim Kearney (Palominas Coordinator), Profesora Rebeca Guerrero. Prof. Alejandro Rodriguez, Clayton Cox and Supt. Dr. Lee Hagar.

School's Display exhibits of their Exchanges.

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The Exchange

25 Years and Going Strong!

After so many years you would think an HATB Program would become uneventful or mundane. Not so with our oldest program between Palominas and Arizpe. My recent visit to Arizpe while the Palominas School was exchanging provided a unique view and the opportunity to talk to adults and students about the program. Unfortunately, I caught up with the activities a little late, but found this gave me the opportunity to talk to Lupita Peña, a 25 year veteran of the program from Arizpe and head of the DIF Program (Health and Welfare Program) in the community. As we began to know each other and talk about the various aspects of the program, I realized how valuable it is to hear from one of our partner schools about their challenges, funding issues, and great fondness for the program. Lupita told me of one woman in the community who continues to support and host even though it had been years since she had children who participated. She also promised to introduce me to other teachers and community adults who had gone through the Palominas/Arizpe HATB Program so that I could speak with them about the impact of the program on their lives. Over the course of two days, I did speak with many of them, most who had become teachers in the community. What a surprise! For some years now we have wondered how we might gather data to learn about the students who have gone through our program. Is there possible grant money out there to gather such data? exhaustion. The students however, will rest for 20 minutes and be ready to go again. At 5:00 PM there is a basketball game. The game provides a good time to get to know the students. Several times I was called upon to translate for a student, once to explain that the Palominas student wanted to return her coke bottles to the store as instructed by her teacher. Since the bottles had no deposit value the Arizpe students didn't understand why this was a good thing to do but they did oblige her. Talking to some of the local students hanging around also provided new insight that makes me believe kids are kids worldwide. We talked about tattoos, school, community and one boy was keen to show me his gold chain necklace with a crucifix. When I inquired if it was a gift he proudly told me he had purchased it himself. After playing a few rounds of volleyball I was feeling hungry and ready for dinner and I could tell other adults and students were winding down quickly as it had been a long day. Dinner for the adults, while the students were with host families was held at the local ranch meeting building. The food was superb and I don't think I've ever had a bad carne asada meal in Sonora. The music was festive, people found a little energy to dance, especially Lollie, one of the Arizpe teachers. She was the team leader of dance and everyone relaxed as we knew the students were all tucked away in their host homes. Tomorrow was going to be another ½ day of activities before our final departure.

Students gather in front of the "Nuestra Senora De Loreto" cathedral in which Juan Bautista de Anza is buried.

Lupita Pina, two teachers, and Prof. Rebeca Guerrero.

"The food was superb and I don't think I've ever had a bad carne asada meal in Sonora"

Rebecca, the school principal was most gracious to me, the unexpected guest and as often happens a relationship of friendship From Lupita's front door we saw the bus begins. Often I think that this feeling of friendship is experienced by every student returned from their field trip to who visits their partner school and I am Banamichi with adults and students thankful and feel blessed that our Palominas looking a little worn. Having HATB Programs have been and continue to Fair well lunch enjoyed by all. participated in many exchange trip be an inspiration to us all. I have no doubt activities and traveling with schools I that tomorrow our final day in Arizpe will be understand the feeling of happy just as rewarding and the departing emotional as is the reality of all HATB programs. What lucky individuals we are to work in such a program. Congratulations to Palominas and Arizpe for 25 years of

The Exchange 25 Years and Going Strong Continued....

be an inspiration to us all. I have no doubt that tomorrow our final day in Arizpe will be just as rewarding and the departing emotional as is the reality of all HATB programs. What lucky individuals we are to work in such a program. Congratulations to Palominas and Arizpe for 25 years of Success! By Alicia S. Bristow

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"Talking to some of the local students hanging around also provided new insight that makes me believe kids are kids worldwide."

A Letter from a College Student

Hello. My name is Rosemary Vasquez, a conversational Spanish student at Mesa Community College. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the HATB program. I am writing this letter to inform you of my personal experience visiting Mexico, what I learned about the culture, how HATB gave me a more insight into my Hispanic background, and my current level of comfort speaking Spanish. I was born and raised in Arizona. Although both my parents grew up speaking fluent Spanish, our household spoke only English. Throughout my high school and professional life, I always felt awkward when people of the Hispanic origin spoke to me in Spanish, thinking I knew the language. The fact was, I did not know Spanish. Most people were shocked when they learned how little I knew. I finally decided to do something about it and enrolled in community college. Three years later I started to understand the language, however, would not dare try speaking Spanish in public. I thought, "Great now I have a fear of speaking Spanish outside the classroom". It went from bad to worse. My husband thought

Emotional fare wells and new friends, with promises to keep in touch reflect the success of the exchange.

I would get over my fear of speaking Spanish if we vacationed in Cancun, Mexico. To no avail, I spoke very little Spanish and when I did try to communicate, it was broken Spanish. I was embarrassed. I threw my hands in the air! When I heard about the HATB program, I was determined to overcome my fear. So I enrolled and was off to Mexico. The family I stayed with was patient and soon I began to feel more comfortable with my Spanish. The more comfortable I became, the easier it was to communicate to the receiver. My level of confidence improved. As a participant of HATB, we performed community service side by side with our host. Our hosts were so proud to share with us their landmarks and the city. The feeling reciprocated when they visited our country. Learning the culture by visiting the local tortilla factory and the Beach were great experiences and educational. When I heard of remarks questioning the educational value of the program, I was

"The more comfortable I became, the easier it was to communicate to the receiver. My level of confidence improved..."

Page 5 of 5 Letter Continued...

shocked. Too much socializing, free time, and field trips not meeting the expectations of the program? Again, dumbfounded. Keep in mind we lived with our host for 5 days. How does one not socialize or get to know each other? Yes, we had fun and laughed often. Fun is a great icebreaker and allows people to let down their guard so we can get comfortable with each other. Once my host and I were comfortable with each other, the educational experience began. Yes, I made mistakes with my Spanish; however, my host tactfully corrected me. My confidence improved while my Spanish anxiety dissipated. So I ask the question again, what are the objectives of this program? My goals as well as others in the program were met. I hope the positive comments carry more merit than the negative. Can the program improve? Yes. Like everything else in life, ceaseless growth and continues

The Exchange

improvement. Should complaints prompt a stricter criterion? I ask how that will improve the program. The program is a success because the "real goal" is to touch people's lives in a positive manner. I know I speak for the group, when I state, "We all walked away from the experience with a different outlook on life". To think a person could have such an experience from a Spanish class? Worse yet, to think other students and our children may not have the same opportunity. If this program goes by the way side, the loser is not the HATB. The loser is society itself. Sincerely, Rosemary Vasquez South Mountain Community College Student

"We all walked away from the experience with a different outlook on life."

Parents Speak Out.

Information gathered November 15-18 on exchange with Liberty/Estrella/Rainbow Schools. (Note: Watch for more information on exchanges in the Rio Sonora Valley area in the next edition of "The Exchange", due out the first of March.) Usually we focus on the antidotes of the students but it is also important for HATB to hear from our parents who experience the exchanges as chaperones. On this exchange to Banamichi, there were an unusual number of fathers who participated. Their participation was invaluable for th helping monitor the 5 grade students and for helping with the replace of a belt when the school bus broke down. Thanks dads! Questioning them provided good insight on how they were feeling about their experience to Banamichi. All of these fathers had children in the program. Here are some of their emotional comments: "I thought Mexican people were backwards and I had no idea of their level of hospitality." "They have old school values ­ the most important being honesty." "I was biased because of the Hispanics I run across in Phoenix. Here I really admire their strength of community and family, which we in the U.S. have really lost." "America has been blessed and we are a rich nation but arrogant about pushing our culture onto others." I am overwhelmed! (This was expressed by most chaperones and with great emotion, if not tears.)

Note: While on this exchange one of the parents made an anonymous donation to the school. Every time I

Some HATB History

Hands Across The Border Foundation, Inc.

3003 S. Country Club Rd., Suite 251 Tucson, AZ 85713 PHONE: (520) 408-6990 FAX: (520) 408-9007 Contact us if you would like to submit an article.

In 1981 Gene Brust, Superintendent of the Palominas School District, launched the first intercultural exchange between Palominas and a school on the Sonora side in Arizpe. With the support of the Superintendent of the Arizpe School, Arturo Silva, the program quickly caught on generating

interest from schools, families and the media on both sides of the border. In the late 80s, an executive director was hired to coordinate the multifaceted program. Two years later, a sister foundation, Manos a Traves de la Frontera (MATF) was established. Today there are 100+

school programs in the U.S. and Sonora, Mexico.

Upcoming Events

May, 2007 the HATB President's Golf Tournament will be held in Phoenix. A registration form and more information will soon be posted online at our website.

Our founders Gene Brust and Arturo Silva.

About Our Organization...

We're on the Web!

See us at:

The Hands Across the Border Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting schools and communities in improving cultural sensitivity and

understanding among citizens of the border states of Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

Sponsorship and Donations...

Any donation or cost of participation in our events is tax deductible. Parties that are interested in becoming a member or sponsoring HATB can contact Alicia Bristow at (520) 408-6990 or cell (520) 241-1142.


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