Border Immersion Program

People standing in front of the fence that divides the United States with Mexico at Border Field State Park.

Understanding Immersion

The Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action (CASA) sees immersion as a practice, a lived experience resulting in unique learning and growth. The setting in which immersion takes place, in this case the border region, will inevitably inform the experience. Nonetheless the emotions that result from silencing the mind to absorb interactions, the said and the unsaid, can be easily identified throughout immersion experiences regardless of the setting.

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

– Lilia Watson


Immersion Experiences

Fence dividing Mexico and the United States. You can see the different murals along the fence that goes all the way to the ocean. Play Video
Tijuana and San Diego Day Immersions

Mulvaney Center’s Border Immersion Program has significantly expanded and deepened its presence in the San Diego/Tijuana community. One-day immersion experiences in both San Diego and Tijuana continue to be a practical way to expose students, faculty and staff to the border community.

Students hiking a trail in Nogales Sonora. Nogales Immersion

In Spring 2014, CASA expanded Border Immersion to include the Nogales Sonora/Arizona community. Through a partnership with Outdoor Adventures, students embarked on an “Alternative Spring Break” experience that included a road trip to and from Nogales as well as a three-day immersion in Nogales, Sonora.

University of San Diego's students at a beach in Guatemala during an immersion trip. Play Video
Guatemala Immersion

For one week a group of students from the Mulvaney Center stayed with the Lopez Family in the small town of La Blanca located in northwestern Guatemala. The focus of the trip was centered on the idea of Borders- both their significance, as well as their insignificance.

Student Leadership Opportunities

Beyond Borders Student Leaders 

Beyond Borders student leaders facilitate the collaboration of the Mulvaney Center, the community agency/school staff, and the student participants to maintain a quality site placement. Student leaders also work with faculty members to provide service learning information and to offer support to their classmates. 

Student leaders hugging a graduating student. The Beyond Border team works together to bring awareness to campus of the different social justice issues related to the border region.