In a little too deep in Juárez

I know I’ve been beating that swimming metaphor to death, but I couldn’t resist. 🙂 Unfortunately, I have some somewhat sad news to report, though I think in the long run everything will work out for the best. The news is that, in spite of my best efforts and the help of so many wonderful people, it turned out that my job as co-coordinator of the Construyendo Sueños project was a bit too much for me. Therefore, for the good of the project and of everyone involved, including myself, I decided to resign.

That, however, isn’t necessarily the end. I still believe deeply in the project and I’ve been a valued member of the team, so we’re going to try to create a new job that is more suited to my skill set. It will likely involve writing, translating, and public speaking. We want to take advantage of the one characteristic that sets me apart from all of my co-workers: I’m an American whose native language is English.

This can really be put to use, because it enables us to publicize this worthy project in the US, and this has many potential benefits. It is a form of consciousness raising, and on a more nuts-and-bolts level, a form of fundraising. The project depends on funds from many sources, including donations from individuals who want to help the young people we aim to serve. The idea, then, is for me to share what we’re doing with Americans and others in the English-speaking world, including potential donors. We hope this will open doors that would otherwise be pretty much closed to us.

Unfortunately, to get the funding for this new job, we have to jump through some bureaucratic hoops. We have to write up a proposal for the new job, in hopes of convincing our primary funders to pay me for it. Once they have the proposal in hand, they have to go through a whole decision-making process. Since all of this takes time, I’ve gone back to Xalapa for now—both because I don’t currently have the resources to live in Juárez, and because I’d much rather be living with Patricia!

So I’m back home, but I’m not just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I’m working on the proposal, and on top of that, there is always useful work to do. For instance, right now I’m helping Patricia craft a report summarizing the accomplishments and challenges of her recently concluded term as president of the Citizens’ Council of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration. I’m actually becoming a decent wordsmith in Spanish, and she’s glad to have the help.

I am, of course, a bit disappointed that this particular job didn’t work out. And it’s possible that our funders won’t approve the new job, in which case my continued work on Construyendo Sueños would be in doubt. But I learned a lot in my short time in Ciudad Juárez, and we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll work something out that will enable me to continue with this wonderful project. As Aarón and I have taken to saying, echoing our Muslim brothers and sisters, inshallah. God willing.

5 Replies to “In a little too deep in Juárez”

  1. I like the swimming analogy. And it does really seem that your skill set may still get put to good use in this project. You are an amazing man to have taken this challenge on and to flow with it in its ups and downs and still be optimistic and positive. Way to go Greg!! Once again, you are setting a great example and being an inspiration to others.

  2. Greg, I understand your sadness in this not working out. Yet, you jumped in the deep end and that is what counts. You didn’t drown! As you mentioned you became a stronger swimmer overall (I will deliver that final blow for the swimming metaphor : ) I have always been impressed with your willingness to jump into something when you feel called. Your continued desire and contribution to bring love into areas where it is lacking is heartening. I see this happening more and more with you.

    I am happy you are back with Patricia. I was wondering how you would fare without her for long periods. If you are up in Tucson anytime soon let me know and let’s connect in person.

  3. Dear everyone,

    Thank you so much for your very kind comments. Your compliments and well wishes really warm my heart. I feel like my time in Juárez was one stage in a journey that is just beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

    And thanks, John, for the info on Herbert Nicholson. I wasn’t familiar with him, but what an inspiring man! And not surprising that George Takei, who was interred with his family in the US concentration camps of Japanese-Americans during WWII, would give him a shout out.

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