California, US

Service Learning and Global Migration on the California / Mexico Border

Engage the complex realities and politics of life at and around the border while connecting with the people, environments, exchanges, and issues that arise when countries and cultures meet!
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
Harkness Travel Program - California
From Spanish settlement to American westward expansion, people have been drawn to California for centuries. While early settlers in the region colonized indigenous lands, contemporary borders have created new challenges layered on the old. Today, the US-Mexico Border exemplifies the complexities of global migration and evolving identity.
Working with Atlas Workshops on this service-learning program, we’ll work to unpack current immigration issues and their impact on local communities. San Diego will set the stage for our program and explore the implications of the border wall, from environmental concerns in desert and beachside environments, to intercultural dynamics exemplified in the region's diverse (and delicious) fusion foods. At the border town of Calexico (and its twin in Mexico, Mexicali), local students and organizations will address community issues through grassroots projects (such as migrant aid, communal libraries and kitchens, or activism through the arts). As we go, we will work to understand what it is like to cross and live along the southern U.S. border, reflecting on how we might amplify the voices of migrants in this country - and around the world. Our final day will include time for rest and fun at the beach!
Important Considerations / Student Expectations
All passports must be current seven months past the return date of any school sponsored trip. Please check and plan accordingly.

Sign-Up Instructions

Participation for all Lawrenceville Harkness Travel Programs is dependent upon a review of student applications, Head of House / Day Advisor Recommendations, medical fitness for participation, and financial and disciplinary standing. Seniority and gender balance is also considered in the selection process.
Application to this program is not considered complete until both of the following items have been submitted:
Head of House/Day Advisor Recommendation must be completed and submitted to Louise Wright by Monday, October 31, 2022.
Application Survey must be completed by Monday, October 31, 2021.


March 4 - 12, 2023



Includes all required vaccinations.

Target Student Population

This program is open to II-V formers.
Interest in social justice and border advocacy.
Ability to speak Spanish is helpful but not required
This program satisfies Lawrenceville’s LCAP requirement.

Program Leaders

Elizabeth Ferguson
Director of Community Service
E.J. Hernandez
History Teacher

Pre-Trip Work

Required pre-trip meetings will focus on orientation activities such as community building exercises, education around border issues, and a brief historical overview of Mexican immigration to the United States.

Location Info