Border Angels de CSUSM strives to help save lives


Jeffrey Davis

Volunteers on a water drop trip in April.

Andrea Martinez, Copy Editor


Every year, hundreds of migrants die attempting to cross the U.S.‐Mexico border. With humanitarian values in mind, Border Angels de CSUSM aims to help save lives.

Efforts to establish the organization began in fall 2015 after its president, Christina Flores Lopez, attended the grand opening of the Latin@ Center and met Enrique Morones, the founder of Border Angels and a keynote speaker at the event.

“We started talking about having a club meeting here on campus and that’s when the whole idea got started,” said Lopez.

Since the organization developed at CSUSM, Lopez said that they’ve been asked why they call it Border Angels de CSUSM instead of Border Angels of CSUSM.

“We use a Spanish word to bridge the community together because a lot of the community is Spanish-speaking and we are a hispanic-serving institute here on campus, so it’s just kind of bridging two worlds together,” said Lopez.

One way they get community members together is through water drops. Members and volunteers have completed two water drops in which they leave gallons of water along migrant paths. They plan water drop trips every third Saturday of the month.

“Volunteers take two gallons of water with them and we’ll drive out to a location out in the desert and we’ll drop off gallons of water along the trail,” said Treasurer Brenda Diaz. “There’s a couple of members from the organization that lead us through the trail … and it’s not just us who attend, it’s people all over California who find out about this and want to give back to the community.”

Publicity Manager Linda Salazar posted a video on the organization’s YouTube page that shows their latest water drop, which can be found at

“Through the events that we do go to, what we want is for [volunteers] to experience what the people who cross the border experience, and we want them to be all in and just feel what [migrants] feel,” said Salazar.

With trips to the desert, the organization aims to educate students and community members about the realities of the border.

“When students participate in the water drops, they kind of see the terrain, and we’re only out there for an hour or two and we’re struggling to be out there, to hike and leave the water. But we have to think that these people are there for days,” said Lopez.

They also dedicate time to helping day laborers in downtown San Diego every first Saturday of the month, giving them sack lunches and handing them know-your-rights cards.

“The information we’re giving them could apply to them or someone they know,” said Lopez.

Though immigration is often politicized in the media, Border Angels de CSUSM treats the matter as a humanitarian one.

“Every individual that crosses is a person, has a story behind why they’re crossing over… they just want a better life and to reunite with their families,” said Diaz.