Frequently Asked Questions
There are two main international airports in the region – Phoenix and Tucson. Depending on where you are flying from, one may be considerably more affordable than the other. TIP: if you are flying in with a group, you may want to rent a vehicle from the airport. If you book in advance, you may even be able to lock in great rates!
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Tucson International Airport (TUS)
- From further up in the U.S., take I-19 South from Tucson which is off Exit 260 along I-10 going through Tucson between Phoenix and El Paso.
- If you plan on driving your vehicle into Mexico, be aware that you must have auto insurance that is valid in Mexico.
- Rental cars from the US must have documentation granting authorization to the driver on the rental agreement to bring them across the border into Mexico; otherwise, you may be suspected of stealing the car.
- Driving around the city is a real hassle. Expect bumper-to-bumper traffic inside the city, and moderately congested traffic along Highway 15 south. You may want to consider parking your car once in Nogales and getting around on foot. Most people simply park their cars in Nogales Arizona, and walk across the border into Mexico.
- If you are walking across the border from the United States into Mexico, do not forget your passport, US Passport Card, and/or your alien registration card (commonly called the “green card”). You are required to have such documentation to cross into the US side of the border. A driver’s license is acceptable documentation for US Border police – only if it is issued from a US state that participates in the Enhanced Drivers License program (at the time of writing this entry only drivers licenses issued from: Michigan, Vermont, Washington state, and New York are acceptable). Lack of such items will prolong your ability to cross the border, as you’ll be subjected to questioning demanding proof of US citizenship or legal residence status.
- Please be aware that there are Border Patrol checkpoints along all North-South roads from the border.
Amtrak Sunset Limited – passenger train service between Los Angeles and New Orleans. Stops include Pomona, CA; Ontario, CA; Palm Springs, CA; Yuma, AZ; Maricopa, AZ; Tucson, AZ; Benson, AZ; Lordsburg, NM; Deming, NM; El Paso, TX; Alpine, TX; Sanderson, TX; Del Rio, TX; San Antonio, TX; Houston, TX; Beaumont, TX; Lake Charles, LA; Lafayette, LA; New Iberia, LA; and Schriever, LA. Texas Eagle – passenger train service between Los Angeles and Chicago. Stops include Springfield, IL; St. Louis, MO; Little Rock, AR; Texarkana, TX; Dallas, TX; Ft. Worth, TX; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; El Paso, TX; Tucson, AZ; Maricopa, AZ; and Los Angeles, CA. For a complete list of stops, you can view the train route guide HERE.
The best way to get to Nogales from Tucson without renting a car is to take a shuttle. You will need to take a taxi or Lyft from the airport to the shuttle location, from the shuttle to your hotel, and do the same when heading back to the airport. You can take a Greyhound Bus or you can check this list of shuttles from Tucson to Nogales.
AMERICAS BEST VALUE INN850 W Shell Road
EL DORADO INN SUITES884 N Grand Ave
MARIPOSA HOTEL547 W Mariposa Road
BEST WESTERN750 W Shell Road
HOLIDAY INN850 QW Shell Road
CANDLEWOOD Suites875 N Frank Reed Road
ARROYO MOTEL20 E Doe St
TIME MOTEL921 N Grand Ave
FRAY MARCOS DE NIZACalle Campillo # 91
HOTEL OLIVIAAv Alvaro Obregon 125
PLAZA NOGALESAlvaro Obregon # 4190
CITY EXPRESS NOGALESProl Alvaro Obregon # 420
HOTEL MARQUES DE CIMAAlvaro Obregon # 2024
FIESTA INNAv Czda Industrial, Nuevo Nogales 3
HOTEL CARIBBEANAdolfo Ruiz Cortinez 2001
- Form of identification (US Passport, Driver's License, LPR Card, Work Permit, etc)
- Comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing - Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly
- Sun protection
- Water bottle - Remember you are coming to the Sonora Desert. Stay hydrated. Water is life.
- For any and all legal questions, please contact the Legal Collective at firstname.lastname@example.org
- For any other questions, please contact SOA Watch at 202-234-3440
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Join the Border Encuentro Organizing Team!The Encuentro Coordinating Team is essentially one of the core organizing groups that bring the Encuentro to life year after year. Made up of several working groups composed of individuals who dedicate their time to work on a specific area of the Encuentro organizing throughout the year, specifically in the months prior to the weekend of November 16-18, The Encuentro Coordinating Team is a group of dynamic and dedicated individuals coming together for a collective cause. As a grassroots movement, the power is in the people involved! Consider getting involved with one or more of the following working groups and let your voice be heard:
This ongoing working group seeks to work from a framework of language justice. As a hemispheric movement, we are working to center bilingual spaces in our work – everything from having a bilingual (or multilingual!) staff, to creating Spanish and English language media across the Americas. We welcome new folks who are Spanish<>English interpreters and translators to get involved! Contact: Adrián Bernal, email@example.com
The Research & Conference Working Group will help to structure the workshop and tabling space at the Convergence. Aside from coordinating workshop spaces, this group also takes part in plenary planning, envisioning goals and themes for the Encuentro – which include a focus on making the conference space inclusive and accessible, as well as an interactive space for people to connect on militarization issues and beyond – as well as take the lead on research and analysis that shape and guide our work. Contact: Beth Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Legal Collective is a group of activists, lawyers, law students and paralegals who offer legal trainings and support during the November vigils and subsequent trials. The legal collective sets up and staffs a legal office and hotline during the vigil weekend, and follows up on any vigil attendees arrested during that time. Abby Jensen, Southern Arizona Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, email@example.com
The media & communications working group is in the process of becoming an ongoing working group. Our mission is to spread the word far and wide about the work of SOA Watch via mainstream and alternative media, and to empower more folks in this grassroots movement to do the same. This work can include pitching reporters and news outlets to cover the issue, writing and placing opinion pieces and letters to the editor, arranging interviews, answering phone calls, editing and coaching local groups, photography, live streaming and filming, as well as spreading the word through social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All experience levels welcome! Contact: Karol, firstname.lastname@example.org
Street theater, extravagant political puppets made from the debris of a culture gone mad, channeling your political convictions and creativity into an expression of life affirming resistance, visionary community living and building, feeling integrated into and valued by the SOA Watch community, all this and more is waiting for you simply by joining the Puppetistas! As in prior years at the vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, a creative, sometimes crazy, certainly zany cast of characters will gather this November in Nogales from around the country, organize themselves as the inspired Puppetistas and create the puppets and pageantry that has become an integral expression of the SOA Watch resistance movement. You too could be amongst them, building puppets from discarded cardboard, planning, painting, plotting, cooking and eating together, learning to walk on stilts, or how to turn a bucket into a drum to beat the messages of social justice and hope. All are welcome, all are valued. Come for a week, a day, 2 hours, or see us on the days of the rally and find the role for you. Contact: Coleman Smith, email@example.com
Beginning in the early spring of each year, the stage and program working group works to contact speakers, musicians and performers for the Convergence. We help create the program and coordinate music, musicians and speakers. Contact: Olmeca, firstname.lastname@example.org & Becca Bretz, email@example.com