What is a delegation to the border and why go on one?

Delegation van and travelers from Chicago and Austin (2005)

Delegation van and travelers from Chicago and Austin (2005)

For over fifteen years (1999-2015),  Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, a partner to Women on the Border, has been organizing delegations to  visit maquiladora communities and maquiladora workers in Mexico.  You  are invited to be a part of this powerful experience.

The delegations  are hosted by a maquiladora workers’ organization, the Comite  Fronterizo de Obreras (Border Committee of Women Workers or CFO) based in Piedras Negras, Coahuila (next to Eagle Pass, Texas).    The CFO’s mission is to empower workers through knowledge of their rights under La Ley Federal del Trabajo (Mexico’s federal labor law). Visiting delegates may not only meet with workers in their communities and homes to hear their stories but also can observe the training of workers in the midst of active struggles or strategic planning to confront a specific employer. Social events with workers provide opportunities to form closer bonds and to see the human face of NAFTA at work along the U.S.-Mexican border.

A delegation provides a unique insight into the impact of NAFTA in the lives of workers.  The group is small (12) and over two days there is continuous contact with volunteers who tell us their experiences and about their struggles to improve wages and working conditions.

La Frontera - El Rio Grande

La Frontera – El Rio Grande

Led by CFO organizers, delegates tour maquiladora industrial parks passing numerous export processing plants of well-known U.S.-based multinational companies. They then meet with workers in their homes to learn about working conditions, current labor struggles, and the CFO’s organizing strategies. Delegates also visit colonias, or neighborhoods, for informal social gatherings with workers, their families, and friends.

Following the trips, delegates meet to reflect on the implications of what they have learned. Many delegates continue their involvement by sharing their experience with others, organizing forums and study groups, and responding to action alerts.




Contact:  Austin Tan Cerca , or 512-474-2399        


Photo commentary on visit to Ciudad Acuña and Piedras Negras