Boulder school visits US border with Mexico to learn about immigration

Posted at 10:35 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 01:10:50-05

BOULDER, Colo. -- A group of high school students in Boulder have a completely different way of looking at immigration and the proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. 

Watershed High School's 9th and 10th graders traveled to the border city of El Paso, Texas, for eight days -- not to sightsee, but to meet with people on both sides of the wall debate to see what it could mean for life on the border.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done,” said Dani Cooke.

Cooke is one of the students who went on the fact-finding field trip.

“We spoke with lawyers. We spoke with undocumented individuals. We spoke with children of undocumented families. We talked to border patrol. We just got so many different perspectives,” said Cooke.

They also visited a school in Mexico to meet with their peers south of the border.

The goal for Dani and other students is to use those firsthand perspectives to learn about how immigration can impact the country long-term.

They also camped to study the impact of a wall on the ecosystem.

Teachers told Denver7 learning about daily life and the local economy on both sides of the border is not meant to make students believe a certain argument. Instead, it’s meant to teach them to think critically about this very controversial issue. 

“I think what it’s doing is... it’s fostering a tremendous amount of critical thinking, and that issues are never black and white. They’re mucky and gray and [there are] lots of perspectives,” said Watershed teacher Paul Stayton.

In a news release Watershed School said, “the purpose of the trip is to explore the impact of the current and proposed border wall on both natural and human communities. Students will be immersed into the rural and urban cultures that exist on both sides of the border, and they will explore the complex issues that arise when these two very different worlds come together."


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