Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Crossing borders

An article in yesterday's Times Union detailed a trip to Mexico by local high school students and sponsored by the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition.

ALBANY -- Natalia Testo could have gone skiing. But while her family hit the Colorado slopes last week, the 16-year-old took a different path.

She left behind her expensive clothes, her Coach bags and her classmates at Academy of the Holy Names and joined a delegation to the Mexican border.

In Los Napolitos near Reynosa, she stepped out of a van into a raw breeze and stared at rows of shacks. Cold air seeped through the shanty walls, made of shipping pallets. She felt hot tears in her eyes and a wave of guilt.

As her personal economy turned global, she realized that pieces of her cellphone, her sneakers, even her shopping bags were made by Mexicans living in this polluted slum -- across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas -- netting as little as 89 cents an hour from American manufacturers.

The rest of the story is here.