Travel News

Travel News from Marie in Mexico:

There is positive news from Mexico. Please click on the BBC News link below, and then scroll down in the article to the blue letters that read: TRAVEL WARNINGS. Then scroll down and click on MEXICO.

The county is divided by regions, so if you scroll down the page for Mexico, below the General Conditions section, you will note that Mexico City, Chiapas & Oaxaca are listed as:
Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect
Chiapas: San Cristobal de las Casas is a major city/travel destination in Chiapas (map= ): No advisory is in effect

Oaxaca: No advisory is in effect

The State Department site confirms what I am reading in Mexico City newspapers: Tourism is up, and Mexico is the # 1 site for U.S. tourists. Besides Mexico City, Chiapas and Oaxaca being sites where "no travel advisory is in effect," the nearby States of Puebla and Mexico have no advisories, as well as the State of Queretero. 

News about Mexico is often dominated by drug violence, but David A Shirk of the Trans-Border Institute at San Diego University argues it is time to challenge overly negative views of the country:

Sister Cecy Corcoran:

Sister Cecy Corcoran  was a guest on NPR's 3/12/2012 Here on Earth program: Ancestral Roots; Ancestral Wisdom: Encountering the Indigenous Traditions of the Americas. Joining S. Cecy on the show was Fred Gustafson, Jungian analyst, Evangelical Lutheran Pastor, and author. He began his journey with the Sioux on Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota in 1984 where he has danced in the Sun Dance for 25 years. Cecy shares from her experiences in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

Listen to the program here (click the "Listen" button toward the top of the page - a 10-second ad will play before the show starts) archive_120312k.cfm

2017 GATE Schedule

GATE cultural immersion programs offer participants the opportunity to encounter people who
share their history, values, art, hopes and dreams with us. Learn of other ways of living
and being. Experience ancient and modern cultures side by side. Expand your own
compassion into a spirituality of solidarity, as people become sister and brother to us all.

Our 2017 programs are below: register with us early to secure a place for yourself. Please go to the destination page for a particular program, for prices and further information. 

• Cuba 2017..................................November 7-17, 2017  
         Registration deadline: TBA

• Cuba 2017..................................December 1-11, 2017  
         Registration deadline: TBA

• El Salvador.................................August 8-18, 2017
         Registration deadline: April 28, 2017

• Guatemala..................................July 13-23, 2017
         Registration deadline: May 19, 2017

• Mexico & Chiapas......................June 20-30, 2017
         Registration deadline: April 21, 2017

• Peru...........................................April 25-May 5, 2017
         Registration deadline: February 12, 2017                           

Arrive: Late night in Lima, April 25th, 2017
Depart: Late night from Lima, May 5th, 2017
(arriving in US the morning of May 6, 2017)

Our mission is to create an awareness of other cultures and their realities
through people-to-people connections. We offer the opportunity to learn
from the poor, as well as from social analysts, teachers, theologians
and economists. The program connects participants with marginalized
who, despite struggle, find hope in their reality.
Join GATE today!

People Are #1

"People Are #1" a book by Roger Yockey (GATE Participant)
Share in the story of the 1989 strike and lockout of thousands of union grocery workers in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. The 81-day struggle of the workers, with support from labor, church, and consumers against corporate greed is a story you will want to know about.
The proceeds will go toward the water project for an indigenous community in the State of Veracruz, Mexico. The projected cost is $50,000. The people had been displaced from their homelands due to flooding 2 years ago. On their own, the people would never have the resources to cover the costs.
We know clean water means that everyone's health improves, and women do not have to walk kilometers every day to find water and carry it back home. Any contributions help to move the water project forward.
A signed copy of the book can be obtained by sending a check to:
Roger Yockey
15026 40th Avenue West #4-104
Lynnwood, WA 98087
Books are $12 each (paperback) plus $3 for shipping and handling. Please list the number of books, your return address, and phone number. Make checks payable to Roger Yockey. Money from the sale of the book will go to GATE's water project in Veracruz, Mexico. Roger and his wife, Marilyn, are Secular Franciscans, who have been servant learners in volunteer programs in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

Peru for 2017!

Join us in Peru, April 25-May 5, 2017. Call us today and sign-up for the experience of a lifetime.

Guest Perspective on Immigration...

Pastor Shelly Davis shares a sermon with GATE about the state of affairs where immigration and America's policies are concerned. In it, she asks some very simple but important questions of the reader: Are you where you were born? Have you moved, and if so, for what reason? How many times have you moved? Many of us move by choice, others by necessity and others by force.
These questions move straight to the heart of immigration, for “humankind’s story is a migration story. We all are, or have been, migrants, immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers” ( Davis ) within the span of our family’s history. While America is in the midst of a raging and volatile debate concerning immigration, what part does the individual play in this saga? The history of our country has always been that of a land open to all who seek refuge here. With recent developments and the many changes in world politics and policies, however, can America maintain its ideals? What part does the individual play in such a debate?
Click here to read Pastor Shelly Davis’ reflections - a bold and humane outlook that charges each individual with embracing a spirituality of solidarity with their human neighbors.

Welcome to The Christine Center

The Christine Center offers an exquisite hilltop facility overlooking a meadow of wildflowers, a still pond, and a tranquil forest setting of 120 secluded acres. Nestled in the quiet woods, you'll be reminded to slow down, to know the limitless opportunities of life, to simply be. Here you can leave behind your usual routines, refresh your senses and allow the luxury of silence to renew your body, mind, heart and spirit.
The Center has served the spiritual needs of thousands of people from all over the world for almost thirty years. Since 1980, people from all spiritual paths and walks of life have come here with a desire to move inward to a place of quiet reflection, and outward to a place of timeless connection in search of their deeper spiritual identities. All are welcome to enjoy our natural sanctuary and to partake of its quiet beauty.
Click here for more Retreat information.
To contact the Christine Center:
and go to the "Contact Us" link...

Keep up with current news from abroad...

Visit our Links Section which provides current articles and links to alternative news sites and current information.  
Click here for links.

An Essay on Immigration

In a recent publication Marie Des Jarlais, FSPA, has written on the immigration debate. She shares her experience on the economic and political realities of immigration. 
Click here to read the article.   

El Salvador Blog

Journey to El Salvador, without ever leaving your desk! Simply click here to experience the El Salvador GATE trip with traveler Charish Badzinski in a day-by-day account of her experiences.
A freelance writer and editor, Charish Badzinski posted regular updates throughout her trip in June of 2007. Check out her experiences and welcome a small piece of El Salvador into your busy day...

Need Coffee?

If you would like to support the indigenous effort to produce and sell their own coffee, we suggest you buy from Juan Ana.  100% of the proceeds go to the growers, you can't get any more fair trade than that!  For those of you travelers that have visited the San Lucas Toliman Mission with us, you know what a difference it makes for the people--and how good it is!  Here is the link to order and learn more:

Survivor of El Mozote Massacre Passes

Rufina Amaya, human rights activist and survivor of the El Mozote Massacre passed on Tuesday March 6, 2007 due to heart failure. She was a mother, grandmother, friend and hero to many.
In 1981 an SOA-trained Salvadoran army battalion known as the Atlacatl Battalion swept through the region of Morazon in a campaign to root out guerillas and their sympathizers. In a shocking turn of events, nearly one thousand peasants were slaughtered in the village of El Mozote.
As the sole survivor, Rufina's brave testimony of the massacre shed light on the atrocities committed by the Salvadoran military and uncovered the Reagan administration's role in providing training and millions of dollars in military aid to a government with a complete disregard for human rights.
The Atlacatl Battalion continued to commit atrocities in El Salvador, including the murder of six Jesuit priests and two Salvadoran women at the University of Central America on November 16, 1989.
"God saved me because he needed someone to tell the story of what happened." Rufina Amaya continued to be an outspoken and compelling witness to what may have been the largest massacre in modern Latin American history until the day of her death.
Rufina's legacy will live on in the hearts of the people of Latin America and the world.

Tragic Loss of Safe Passage Director, Hanley Denning

  GATE has recieved tragic news of the loss of Hanley Denning, founder of Project Safe Passage in Guatemala.  The mothers and children of the dump have lost a real friend.  Some of you may have met Hanley personally when we visited Project Safe Passsage in the Guatemala City dump.  Others of you only heard about her heart being so touched by the plight of the single mothers and their children who lived and worked in the dump where Hanley found her unique mission in life.  Her short time in Guatemala has made a significant difference.  We know that Hanley is at peace, but we ask for consolation and peace for Hanley's family in Maine, and all of the people she worked with and served in Guatemala.

Visit their site to learn more about: 

Project Safe Passage


Travel News

Sister Cecy Corcoran

NPR Here On Earth program interview with Cecy about
Ancestral Roots; Ancestral Wisdom.

NEW Gate Schedules

Our 2017 Program
dates are here! Check
out our new schedules...

People Are #1...

Check out this unique publication and learn of
the struggle for rights and
equality in the work place!

Join us in Peru!

We still have 4 spaces available for Peru! Join us this April 25-May 5, 2017.Read More...