I stayed an extra day in Tucson so that I could a have the opportunity to join with the Samaritan organization in their efforts to drop off water in the desert for migrants making the journey north. This might seem a simple thing to do, but it is vitally important, for over 6000 men women and children have died in the last decade making this journey.
I gained a sense of just how hard this trip can be from my brief time yesterday. Four of us left Tucson in the morning with 40 gallons of water in plastic jugs. We drove for more than an hour in to rugged country near Lake Arribaca, then more driving on marginal dirt roads, until we finally parked and hiked into various drop sites to deposit the water and pick up any empty containers. It was very hot and very difficult. I drank at least two gallons of water myself in the 5 hours we were there, and I was well prepared and was only carrying the weight of the water! It was hard to imagine how difficult such a trip would be for a family or for anyone not in good shape, carrying their worldly possessions. At one site I found a homemade canteen abandoned by a migrant. It was made from a burlap bag and plastic water bottle. I brought it back with me as a reminder of the struggle of our brothers and sisters and the hardships they endure in their quest to support their families.