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HOPE invites you to grow in your own leadership and join us in defending human rights and in building a better border and world by being part of the upcoming Border Leaders Academy!


What will you get out of this high-energy leadership experience?


LEADERSHIP. Grow in your understanding of our community's border identity and your own identity as someone called to work for justice, human rights, and solidarity.


FAITH. Deepen the connection between your faith journey and your calling to grow in leadership and service.


HUMAN RIGHTS. Training as a human rights defender able to connect struggles for justice and their local, national, regional, and global dimensions


COMMUNITY. Develop powerful relationships with others who aspire to leadership in our community, are engaged in the work of justice, and are looking for greater meaning and purpose in their lives.

During this intensive two-day leadership development retreat, you will learn more about yourself, Catholic social teaching, advocacy, and the real issues affecting our community.




Marylu Vazquez

I am a recent graduate from University of Texas Austin. During my time at this wonderful university, I had the opportunity to meet a diverse group of faithful individuals committed to social justice. I was involved in campus ministry, especially as part of the Social Justice Team. Moving back to El Paso, I knew I wanted to find opportunities to collaborate and form connections with other young, faithful people. But after four years away, El Paso had become a brand-new place. I didn’t know where - or even how - to start looking for new “partners” in social justice.


When I graduated college, I craved for interaction with my peers again, and HBI’s Border Leaders Academy allowed me to reconnect. It was amazing to meet other young leaders; especially because now, I was listening to stories that hit closer to home.


I give thanks to have met such a variety of people from literally all over the world during my time in Austin. However, often being the only Latina in the group was at times exhausting, since I always had to explain myself, my background and beliefs as a Mexican. Being back in the border region with people from similar Mexican backgrounds was very welcoming and refreshing. Not only did I meet people from my country, but I learned about issues in Mexico I was not aware of. Furthermore, not only do I now know about many more events going on in the city, but I also get to see my new friends. I often reunite with my peers at events, and even bump into them at church services. This makes me feel like I am truly back home. I no longer feel like a stranger in an old new city.

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