Teaching Geography: Workshop 1
Programs and Activities: Part 1. El Paso and Ciudad Juarez
Getting Ready 1 (15 minutes)
On the Border
Site Leader: Please prepare an appropriate number of index cards, one per participant, prior to meeting. Each card should have printed on one side either Mexico or United States. Evenly divide participants between Mexico and United States and randomly hand them cards as they walk in the door. Once everyone is present, have everyone whose card reads "Mexico" move to one side of the room, and those whose cards read, "United States," move to the other side of the room.
Please keep participants to five to seven minutes of small group work and then facilitate large group discussion for the remaining time.
Take a look at the card you received upon entering the meeting space. That is where you live, on either side of the Rio Grande, either in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico or in El Paso, Texas, in the United States. Working in your small groups, take five to seven minutes to briefly answer the following questions:
- What types of jobs might you hold?
- Where might you work?
- What language(s) might you speak?
- What might be your ethnic background?
- What might be some of the most difficult things about living so closely
to the other country?
- How would things be different if there were no border between Mexico and the United States?
For the remaining time, discuss your answers with the large group. How are the two groups' answers similar? How are they different? What effect does a border have on the people living nearby?