Crazy Busy Week for CDA!!

CDA was fortunate enough to have 3 different groups in this past week (into this week). Mexico, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan! Great people, great groups and interesting topics. Illegal Migration, Women for Social and Economic Change and Combatting Gender Based Violence.

Starting out with Mexico and the Women or Social and Economic Change was Maria Cardenas, CDA Board member and President and founder of United Hearts of Arizona. She discussed the challenges of opening up a non profit, making the promises to the youth come true with new coats, books and shoes. She is also an attorney for immigration issues so a very busy lady but was willing to take her time to meet with the group.

the group from Mexico of amazing women!

Along with Maria the group was fortunate to meet with Lea Marquez Peterson from the Arizona Corporate Commission.

Following the meeting with Lea was Kathleen Dreier, professional photographer and board member of Citizen Diplomacy Alliance. She discussed the challenges and successes of the photography business. Kathleen also told them that for many years prior to going in to business for herself she was a social worker. Great conversation!

Here you see Kathleen getting the translating equipment set for her talk.

The meetings with these amazing women was at the Mexican Consulate. They are great partners of CDA, providing meeting space, hosting out annual meeting and offering guidance when asked.

Uzbekistan!! Combating Illegal Migration

This amazing group informed me that our weather wasn’t all that different from what they have at home so it wasn’t horrid, thank goodness!

Heading to Nogales the group met with Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manny Ruiz. Supervisor Ruiz always provides valuable information to our visitors (he has met with many groups!!). In this picture you will see the visitors from Uzbekistan and Supervisor Ruiz is in the center of the photo.

The group also was fortunate to visit with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office and Chief Deputy Gerardo CaCastillo.

They also Nogales Mayor Jorge Maldonado to discuss how immigration impacts Nogales, AZ. Then a drive by of the border crossing so they could witness how CBP handles the crossings.

For the weekend they not only had some free time but were able to visit the San Xavier Mission and the Tucson Speedway and a visit to Mt. Lemmon.

Kazakhstan was covering Preventing Gender-Based Violence.

This, too, was a very busy program for the visitors. Their meeting with the Tucson Police Department Domestic Abuse team to discuss the situations they encounter and the resolutions and their work to prevent it.

Then off to meet with the Prosecutors office and CDA member John Strader. John and his amazing co-workers.

Then the Pima County Sheriff’s office to meet with Sgt. Chavarria of the Domestic Violence Unit.

The visitors from Kazakhstan were an absolute delight.

A visit to Mt Lemmon was also a pleasant change of pace (and temperature) for the visitors.

A visit to Colossal Cave was also a pleasant change of pace.

They also visited the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. This amazing stop was enjoyed by everyone, such a beautifully constructed display in 10,000 ft of space! One of the interpreters said she wished she had see it at 10 years old but was thrilled to see it now.

And their stay isn’t over, tomorrow they will celebrate at the home of Casey Woods for the 4th of July. Mexico returns home today but Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will join members of CDA and the board for a casual get together.

The group from Kazakhstan also met with the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center, Marie Fordney and staff, to learn about the operations, purpose and function of this abuse center for children.

Following the meeting with the Children’s Advocacy Center the group traveled to the Tohono O’odham and met with Chairman Austin Nunez. Chairman Nunez is a great resource for CDA and the visitors from all over the world.

And the final day of the visit for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was the wrap up gathering at Advisory Board member, Casey Woods, home. In total there were 34 people there, most stayed in the house since it was SO hot! The food was great, the conversations were stimulating and friendships reaffirmed. What a lovely way to say goodbye to these amazing representatives of their countries. We hope we have the opportunity to meet them again!