We provide education in economic literacy and civil rights using a popular, practical and experiential model. We assist displaced and marginalized communities, including youth, women, and immigrants
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (ATCF) organizes quarterly delegations to visit maquiladora workers and communities along the Mexico-U.S. border. The Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (CFO: Border Committee of Women Workers) hosts each group’s visit, enabling U.S. delegates to meet with workers who are defending human rights, justice and dignity in a harsh labor environment.
The quarterly delegations rotate between five border cities: Ciudad Acuña, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Ciudad Juárez. The delegations are 3 days long going from a Friday to a Sunday (with an orientation on Thursday evening).
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 and current labor struggles. CFO organizers describe their organizing strategies, including the use of the Mexican Federal Labor Law. Delegates also visit colonias, or neighborhoods, for informal social gatherings with workers, their families, and friends.
Many delegates continue their involvement by sharing their experience with family and friends, organizing forums and study groups, and responding to action alerts and legislative actions.
Each delegation is limited to about ten participants to allow for an intimate experience. Delegations are usually scheduled for January, March, May and October. Each departs from Austin on a Friday morning and returns on Sunday afternoon. The cost is $225 which includes transportation, meals, and two-nights hotel lodging. A translator will be present for all activities. Limited financial assistance is available. See http://www.atcf.org/
"If multinational corporations can erase the national borders to make more money by enjoying the privileges created for them by free trade law and policy, then American consumers can also join in solidarity with workers in other parts of the world to produce a more just globalized economy." --E. Arriola, participant and translator on many delegations
"What touched me most was that this city of sweatshops lies closer to my house in Austin, Texas than does the city of Dallas. The border is a part of who we are as Texans, and as US citizens." --S. Taylor, delegate to Ciudad Acuna in January 2007
1. Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (ATCF) organizes quarterly delegations to visit maquiladora workers and communities along the Mexico-U.S. border.
2. Raises money to compensate the CFO (Border Committee of Women Workers) organizers for facilitating the delegations.
3. Organizes solidarity actions in the US to support workers' demands for social justice.
4. Builds awareness of the impacts of corporate-led globalization on women workers, democracy, and the environment.