Pride, Gratitude and Generosity

Being a Binational Organization

Pride shines through the experience of working across borders. The generosity shared by colleagues enriches, motivates, and brings us back for another day. I’m pretty sure food helps too! Nearly everyone shared some tidbit about tacos and the importance of eating together, which makes complete sense, really. Visits to the Laguna Grande Restoration Site often symbolize the significance of our efforts–what we can only accomplish with such a varied and unique team of staff, donors and supporters like you.

Thanks to everyone for sharing these insights:

“I don’t think I would have ever visited Mexicali if I didn’t work for Sonoran Institute. Now that I’ve been there a couple times, I think it has some of the best food of any city I’ve ever visited. Seriously. I think Laguna Grande is also a major attraction. Before going I did appreciate the significance of it as a restoration site, but I didn’t realize what it actually meant. Seeing it in person, you realize the power of the natural world to inspire and bring people together. It’s so peaceful and reinvigorating, not to mention awe-inspiring. It feels like a forest that’s been there forever.”
–Elise Christmon, development and finance coordinator (Tucson)

“As a native Mexican who has lived in the US for 17 years (leaving Mexico as a teenager), I am blessed to be able to visit Mexico regularly and enjoy its delicious and incomparable cuisine. The first time I visited Mexicali, my colleagues took me to eat at what is considered the most typical food in the area. When we arrived at the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see the multiculturalism of the city engraved in the restaurant’s name and menu in Spanish and Chinese.” –Fátima Luna, environmental and natural resource economist (Tucson)

Sonoran Institute staff, Cristina Perea, Rabí Hernandez and Sandra Ortiz at an outreach event, 2018.

“Meeting our colleagues in the US was a bit complicated at first, but over time we have shared experiences and we have fun and laugh, plus a guitar and a good craft beer are always good for ‘breaking the ice’.”
–Sandra Ortiz, riparian restoration coordinator (Mexicali)

“It’s a great pride for me to be part of a binational organization…I feel super lucky to be surrounded by professional, inspiring and innovative people taking actions that we share to develop day by day.”
–Ana Carolina Romero, administration and finance assistant (Mexicali)

“Traveling to Mexicali confirmed how we share the same passion and values for the work we do. What is especially rewarding about visiting Mexico is to see first hand how accomplished our restoration work has become. We are truly at the cutting edge of large-scale restoration work in North America, if not the entire world.

Breaking bread with my colleagues and partners is important: building relationships through carne asada!”
– John Shepard, senior director of programs (Tucson)

“I am a very fortunate person because I have been able to see many sides of the binational cultural exchange since I was little, and growing up I have always been interested in the dynamics of it. It was a no brainer to pursue a career with Sonoran Institute when I learned that it was a binational organization working with projects based on the two sides of the border.

When you come from a place of love, care, and good intentions, being privileged is to be honored with traits that you can turn into a super power. The super power and motivation is something we use to pursue change in our environment but also within the organization. That’s what it means to me to work on this particular binational organization: the chance to reach a place where men and women, regardless of their origin, are all treated fairly and have the same opportunities to develop and help their communities as catalysts for a better future.”

–Angela Melendez, GIS coordinator (Mexicali)

This is part 5 of 5 in a series about being a binational organization
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By: Corinne Matesich, Marketing Communications Manager