Valley Leadership’s Explore Program Goes to Nogales

May 4, 2022

Ambos Nogales (Spanish for “both Nogales”) refers to the two cities with the same name: Nogales, Arizona, United States, and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

The Explore program included two full days in Nogales, one day in Arizona and one day in Sonora. In Arizona, we started with a panel on the economic development happening in the region and had a tour of a produce warehouse. We then moved on to learn about what education looks like at all levels, and how community development, entrepreneurship and the arts are contributing to the revitalization of the downtown.

“Once again, through my Valley Leadership Explore journey, I returned from our trip deeply changed from the experience and the people we met. The idea of interconnectedness across our state and border is taken to a new level through this program.”

– Beth Maloney

In Sonora, we learned about the maquiladoras industry with representatives from ARINAC, the work with asylum seekers at Kino Border Initiative, and how Borderlandia is changing the conversation about the region. We ended by learning about the work of ARSOBO and FESAC, who practice asset based community development and support wheelchair users and people with hearing impairments to get access to the tools they need to improve their quality of life. The group walked away with extensive information to broaden their perspectives about what it means to live on the border, and the unique cultural identity of a community that exists in two countries.

“Valley Leadership uniquely put me face to face with a nationwide crisis and allowed true testimonials to shed such light on the divisive issue of immigration that it shattered my deeply held beliefs. I am forever grateful to VL for bringing me so close to the human root of it so that I am far better informed and truly feel the call to action.”

– Salvador Bretts
For more photos, please visit our Facebook album.

Special thanks to all of our community partners who made the trip such an incredible experience.

Tom KieferPhotographer, El Sueño Americano
Stephanie BermudezStartup Unidos
Brian NelsonPima Community College
Evan KorySanta Cruz County Arts for Learning Program Director
Priscilla RodriguezArtist / Nogallería
Alex La PierreFounder & Owner of Borderlandia
Francisco PadillaRegional Director First Things First
Christopher YoungChief Deputy, Superintendent’s Office
Jaime S. ChamberlainChamberlain Distributing Inc
Guillermo ValenciaPresident and Co-owner of Valencia International, Inc.
Greg LuceroVP South32
Alan AguirreU of A Nogales, Student Services Coordinator
Eleazar CoronadoSenior Associate, Verdugo & Associates
Jaime DelgadoARINAC President
Bruce BrackerCounty Supervisor / Board of Nogales Community Development
Francisco TrujilloExecutive Director of ARSOBO
Alma Cota de YanezExecutive Director FESAC
Joanna WilliamsExecutive Director Kino Border Initiative
Josh RubinVice President of Business Development at Javid LLC

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