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David M. Ramirez Over 10 years in print and news media development, implemented and over saw a variety of products. Vast knowledge in print, tech and product development. phone: (520) 313-6113 email:

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1012 N. Grand Ave. Suite #13 Nogales, AZ 85621 phone: (520) 261-4685 email: Contributors Axel Holm, City of Nogales, Santa Cruz Sheriffs Department, Nogales Police Department, Mariposa Community Health Center, Carondelet Health Network, Nogales Unified School District, Uriundos de Nogales, Nogales Lions Club, Nogales Rotary Club,

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This month’s edition is dedicated to the men and women who have served our country at homeand abroad to protect our liberties. We are grateful for their sacrifice, past and present, that has assured

us the freedoms we enjoy today. We salute you.


July 2011 Border Echo


THE BATTLE OF AMBOS NOGALES A battle that was fed by global conflict yet could not be sustained in Ambos Nogales BY GEORGE THOMPSON

“... citizens on both sides of the border to agree to the proposition of the wiping out of the imaginary international line and uniting of two Nogales’ into one general Nogales. The obelisks marking the border line were proclaimed monuments of unity and not division.” Nogales Herald July, 1918 “I happened to be downtown Nogales near the depot when I heard some rifle shots, and then more. I saw them carrying a wounded soldier at the international street. Motor transportation was scarce in those days, but I had a good horse, I sped over the hills a couple of miles to camp. On the way I passed Lieutenant Colonel Herman in a car. He had already gotten some news and told me to go on, get my troop out and notify the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Calvary.” Capt. Roy V. Morledge of Troop A In Ambos Nogales the narco-violence prevalent in most U.S. - Mexican border cities is less; the lower level of violence is a direct result of the community connection that existed before and since the “Battle of Ambos Nogales” on Tuesday, August 27, 1918. Memory of the one day of Mexican federal forces shooting at the United States 10th Cavalry and the 35th Infantry has faded, yet incidences such as the 1918 shooting battle brought closer ties to this onecity divided by a political line. Almost any other place on earth, cross border military engagement would result in all-out war between the nations on either side of the border. The historic socio-cultural and eco-poilitical ties in Ambos Nogales prevented an all-out international incident. The Battle is marked in song, film and title. The corrido, “El Corrido de Nogales” from “Heroes and Horses: Corridos from the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands”, a collection by the Smithsonian Folkways, tells the story of the heroic battle in song. The film “La Mera Fontera” by Louis Hock tells the story in an excellent art documentary and the official name of Nogales, Sonora is “Heroica Nogales.” The term “Heroica” is reserved for Mexican towns where great battles were fought. In spite of the fatalities, the incident reinforced the historic cross-border friendless that continues today. This cross-border unity is reflected in the informal name of the cities, “Ambos Nogales” or “Both Nogales.”


Border Echo July 2011


Mexican militia forces during the Mexican revolution. Historically and currently, the trans-border attitude in Ambos Nogales was and is always different from other border communities. In July of 1918, one month before the Battle, the Nogales Herald reported on a cross-border community meeting hosted by General Obregon that reflects the attitude of many of Nogales’ citizens today: “Border Chambers of Commerce declare obelisks monuments of unity” Nogales Herald, July 1918 The get-together of the chambers of commerce of Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona, held last night at the San Carlos Club, has the possibility of becoming a great historic occasion. The meeting marked the first attempt of bodies of citizens on both sides of the border to agree to the proposition of the wiping out of the imaginary international line and uniting of two Nogales’ into one general Nogales. The obelisks marking the border line were proclaimed monuments of unity and not division. The proposition was adopted as the sentiment of all present. Honorable E.M. Lautin, the American counsel at Nogales, Sonora paid marked compliments to the courtesy, cooperation and friendliness of the Mexican people at this point on the border. He said it eclipsed conditions elsewhere on the Mexican/American line. The featured edible at the luncheon, garbanzos in several forms, was provided by General Obregon. The meeting was brought to a lively close in a boxing match of five rounds between two privates from the 35th infantry.” (Quoted from “La Mera

Frontera”, Luis Hock, 1997) To their dismay, a few weeks after this historic occasion, the citizens would be shooting at each other across the international line. Yet the Battle would not create greater conflict and animosity, but greater unity. Today, much of the border is embattled with narco-violence, but as E.M, Lautin pointed out in July, 1918, “...the friendliness of the Mexican people at this point on the border eclipsed conditions elsewhere on the ... line” Still, the border was tense in World War I. Germany was motivated to create diversionary tactics near U.S. soil. According to Jeff Gudenkauff, a resident Nogales expert on the Battle, “There were border skirmishes and battles all along the border from El Paso to San Diego in 1918, probably organized by German agents after the Zimmerman note was discovered. In fact, it was reported that two German agents were killed in the Battle of Ambos Nogales, yet no hard proof of that fact exists.” Whether a fact or not, the possibility of Germans at the border in Mexico was reason enough for strong U.S. presence on the border. That military reality, in spite of the massive war in Europe, meant that some troops had to stay to protect the homeland. That mission fell to both the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry stationed in Nogales at Camp Little on Western Ave., as well as the 35th infantry. The 10th Cavalry was a segregated AfricanAmerican unit and one of the original "Buffalo Soldier" regiments. The 10th became an integrated combat unit in 1958. If the unsubstantiated reports of German advis-


Nogales, Arizona, left, and Nogales,Sonora, Mexico, right, clearly shows the boundary between the Arizona and Mexico looking west on International Street circa 1898-99. ers in Mexico are true, the 1918 border battles during World War I would see Germans engaged in combat against United States soldiers in North America. The 35th Infantry also was present in Nogales on August 27, 1918. The mission of the 35th Infantry was the protection of the border with Mexico and the United States. After Pancho Villa invaded Columbus, New Mexico in March 1916, U.S. General Pershing, who would later command the Allied forces of World War I, was sent on a “Punitive Expedition”after Villa into Mexico. Villa was never captured. After eleven months, the Punitive Mission ended and on March 26, 1917, the 35th Infantry was transferred to Camp Stephen D. Little, at Nogales, Arizona, relieving the 12th Infantry. It was with this tension on the border between the United States and Mexico that the 35th Infantry was formed and is reflected in the infantry’s coat of arms, a saguaro cactus to represent the border with Mexico and a walnut tree to represent the border at Nogales, (the word “Nogales” means “walnuts” in Spanish). By August 1918, the United States had entered World War I against Germany. The “Zimmerman Telegram” confirmed Mexico’s leanings toward the Central powers in Europe. Germany’s outreach to Mexico and the lingering political unrest of the 1917 Mexican revolution caused the defensive posture of the United States to rise against Mexico on the border in Nogales. An online article “Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca: The Battle of Ambos Nogales” reports that German military advisers were known to be in Nogales, Sonora advising the Mexican army. The article states, “About August 15, 1918, the U.S. Intelligence Division in Southern Arizona reported the presence of strange Mexicans, plentifully supplied with arms, ammunition, food and clothing, gathering In increasing numbers in and

about Nogales, Sonora; also the presence of several strange white men, apparently Germans, at times engaged in addressing gatherings of Mexicans explaining military terms, movements and methods.” Regardless of the of German involvement, tensions were extremely high on the border. At about 4:00 on August 27, 1918, a Mexican civilian crossing the border refused to stop at the orders of a U.S. border sentry; the guard shot the crosser. The Army intelligence warnings of Germans and the in-sight Mexican defensive positions on the hills at the border made the situation one of shoot first, then ask questions. After the initial shooting, reinforcements from both sides rushed to the border. Hostilities quickly escalated and several soldiers were killed and others wounded. The U.S. 35th Infantry historically had a border protection mission and on August 27, 1918 the border post had about 15-18 men. The 35th infantry requested aid from the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry. After observing the situation for a few moments, Lt. Colonel Herman ordered an attack on the Mexican and German held hilltops overlooking Nogales. Machine gun placements and defensive trenches were dug at the hilltops near the border. The U.S. 35th Regimental infantry soldiers 10th Cavalry troops crossed the border into Mexico, fighting their way through the buildings and streets of Nogales, Sonora and up onto the nearby hilltops, while other units of the 35th Regiment held the main line. After about 4 hours, the Mexicans waved a white flag of surrender and an immediate cease-fire was ordered. A near primary source for the battle is described in the book “Tenth Cavalry Border Fights” by Col.l Wharfield. Col. Wharfield wrote: “On the afternoon of August 27, 1918 after the killing of the crossing Mexican, and the subsequent return fire from the Mexican Army, Lt. Colonel

Frederick J. Herman, 10th Cavalry commander at Nogales, rushed reinforcements to the international line. The troops of the 10th Cavalry and three companies of the 35th Infantry took up position along the American side and returned sniper fire of Mexican troops. The local situation was complicated by agitation aroused through German agents and an accompanying rising dislike for us --- the Gringos. On the American side the people were on the alert. Most of the householders had a Winchester or other weapon in a convenient location.” Wharfield, Harold B., Colonel, USAF retired (1965). Tenth Cavalry and Border Fights. El Cajon, CA: self published. pp. 85–97. “Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca: The Battle of Ambos Nogales” describes the anaccount of the first shots by Capt. Roy V. Morledge of Troop A, 10th Cavalry, who wrote, “I happened to be downtown near the depot when I heard some rifle shots, and then more. I saw them carrying a wounded soldier at the international street. Motor transportation was scarce in those days, but I had a good horse, I sped over the hills a couple of miles to camp. Colonel Herman soon arrived and led the troops for the town at the gallop. I was sent down Morley Avenue. The place was a double street along the railroad tracks. At the little park the troop was dismounted, and one trooper detailed to hold each group of eight horses. Those left behind pleaded with me to go along. Dismounted, I told the men to follow me. Not far along before we got a lot of fire. There was so much it was hard to tell where it was coming from. Also it seemed as though everybody in Nogales was shooting from the windows toward the border.” Finely, James P. (1996). Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca: The Battle of Ambos Nogales. Casualties from the days fighting were reported by Edward Glass in his history of the 10th Cavalry, and quoted at Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca: The Battle of Ambos Nogales that, “Capt. Joseph D. Hungerford, Troop F, 10th Cavalry, was killed while leading his men in a frontal assault on Mexican troops. Lieutenant Loftus of Company C, 35th Infantry, was killed by sniper fire as he brought his men into position. Other American casualties were three enlisted men killed, including Private W. H. Klint and Corporal Barney Lots, both of Company H, 35th Infantry, and several civilians. Two officers, Lt. Col. F. J. Herman and Capt. H. C. Caron, both of the 10th Cavalry, and twenty-nine men were wounded. Mexican casualties are not known, but found among the Mexican dead were the bodies of two German agents provocateurs.” Few sources report the killing of German agents. The conflict quickly deescalated, as it was not an invasion but a mistake. Reports conflict on the number of Americans killed. The web site “About:

Battle of Ambos Nogales” and as quoted from Wikipedia states, “The U.S. Army suffered three dead and twenty-nine wounded of which one died later of wounds. Arizona militia and civilian casualties were two dead and several wounded. According to the U.S. Army, the graves for 129 Mexicans were dug. However, Mexican casualties reported in various newspapers ranged from thirty to 129 dead or wounded in action. The bodies of two German advisers were recovered and examined by the Americans before they were buried. It was reported that other German advisers fled southward. "About: Battle of Ambos Nogales". The Battle was captured in the 1997 art-documentary film “La Mera Frontera” by filmmaker Louis Hock. In interviews with Nogales icons present as “witnesses” at the Battle, the film shows Nogales in a previous time, before the wall. In the film, Maria Esquiville “returns” as a ghost to ask why she is not remembered as one of those killed in the Battle. Hock said of his film, “La Mera Frontera is meditation on the border and memory. This narrative takes as its point of departure the 1918 battle between neighbors from the border towns of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico. A long-dead victim of the fighting returns in the 1990s to ask some questions.” Why is she not remembered as the first victim in the Battle of Ambos Nogales. In the movie notes, Hock writes, “Among the many citizens who lay dead was Maria Esquivel, who "returns" in the present to interview surviving witnesses, all now 80 to 90 years old. As a stymied historical detective, Maria wrestles with the failure of Nogales' citizens' accounts to coalesce or recollect her and her absence in the local archives and films. Unable to uncover her past, Maria takes history into her own hands.” The movie is well-made and artfully directed. It stars many long-time Nogales icons such as Charlie Fowler, Charles Wise, Louis Escalada, Sidney Rochlin, Ernesto Celaya and Alivin Sisk publisher of the Nogales Herald as “witnesses”. Included is an interview with the then current Nogales City Council person, George Biggs. Yareli Arizmendi starred as the ghost Maria. Arizmendi also stared in: Like Water Like Chocolate, The Big Green, NYPD Blue, Murder One, and The Cisco Kid. The Battle of Ambos Nogales on August 27, 1918 has faded from memory but became part of the fabric of Ambos Nogales. The killing of Mexicans and Americans on that day brought the communities closer and that historic symbiotic relationship continues. Now with narco-violence so apparent in most border cities, we can be thankful that, for the most part, we Nogalenses learned to work together in peace from the violence of that day.

July 2011 Border Echo



Gaze along Western Ave & listen, You may here a bugle calling reveille

ECHO OF HISTORY AXEL C. F. HOLM When I stand at the northern edge of the Hilltop Gallery and gaze down along Western Avenue, I swear I can hear a bugle-calling reveille. Though faint images of Nogales history, more than vestiges of the U.S. Army’s Camp Stephen D. Little (1910-1932) remain along Western Avenue and Anza Drive. Non-commissioned officers lived in small bungalows which, though greatly altered, remain on Western Avenue. Also altered, but standing, are the officer’s quarters on Anza Drive loop. At the center of Camp Little, now Villa Coronado, the U.S. Army headquarters, auditorium, barracks and other structures are gone. Camp Little extended west from Grand Avenue along Western Avenue beyond Carondolet Hospital down Target Range Road, which leads, predictably, to the U.S. Army target range site north of Mariposa Road in use by the U.S. Border Patrol. Picture it. It’s the fall of 1916. You are at the intersection of Western and Grand Avenues. A little to the south on the west side of Grand is the impressive stone entrance, the U.S. Army’s facility with a metal sign on each side, “Camp Little, Est. 1912.” The headquarters for Camp Little lie just beyond the entrance. On the east side of Grand and Western, you see the large Camp Little laundry. Driving from Grand west on Western, you look left and see a two story big building, which is the soldier’s movie theater, the Ali-Baba Theater featuring the latest silent films. Behind the Ali Baba are rows of barracks and other buildings. Past the cemetery and to your right on the hill are the identical, individual officer’s quarters. To the far left and above, near the Hilltop Gallery along Sage St, named for Col William H. Sage, 12th Infantry, stand a few more army residences. Further on Western Avenue, and to your left, is the parade ground, where the A.J Mitchell School will be built in the


Border Echo July 2011

1950s. Soldiers scurry for formation as bugles sound. Someday children will play there. A little further are the camp warehouses followed by the stables and corrals for cavalry horses. To the right are rows of NCO (non-commissioned officers) homes. To the left is a street named after the camp commander, Col. McNab, which leads uphill to the hospital area connected by Walnut and Curtis Streets. Along McNab Drive stands the officer’s club, where only the “O” club stone chimney which will remain as a residence, to belong to Judge Gordon Farley. Four army residences sit on the north side of McNab at the intersection of the future Anthony Drive where, among others, the Edmunson family will live including son Travis who will become an internationally renown singer in the folk duo known as Bud and Travis. Atop Anthony Drive is the reservoir, which supplies water to the camp. Most of McNab Drive and down Curtis Street stands the medical facilities and hospitals of Camp Little where many babies will be born, including one named Charlie Mingus. On both sides of the intersection of Western and McNab are stables for the cavalry horses. Across the street near a future Circle K, rows of army trucks comprising the motor pool are maintained. More stables are atop Pajarito Street, known as Cavalry Hill. Situated on the corner of Highland and Pajarito is an artillery unit. Another artillery unit is maintained from Bankard Street north along Hohokam Drive. Except for a little more than one square of mile of Nogales, most of the area contains military units. That is the picture of Nogales in 1916. When the great military expansion of 1916 took place in military camps along the U.S. -Mexican border, National Guard units crowded around Camp Little. These national guard units from California, Utah, Alabama, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Idaho and other states stretched north to the current County Complex and along the Patagonia Road beyond the Lourdes Academy. The footprint of Camp Little was larger than Nogales and military outnumbered civilians 2 to 1. Troop numbers began in 1910 with a few dozen, and grew by a few hundred then exploded in 1916 to 10,000. The Nogales economy in those days was not mercantile nor produce or commerce, it was a military. But why an army camp in Nogales for 22 years?

Ceremony for Private Stephen D. Little who was killed,was held in Nogales. The military camp was renamed in 1915 to Camp Little. Stephen D. Little, below. An ill wind swept Mexico in November of 1910. An Englishwoman, Mrs. Rose King, owner of a tearoom and hotel in Cuernavaca described the gathering storm in her autobiography, Tempest Over Mexico. Mrs. King, friend of Nogalian and Crawford Street resident, Mrs. Katherine Taylor, felt the tension and anger of the Mexican people at the excesses of their dictator, Porfirio Diaz. According to Mrs. King, matters came to head in the Mexican centennial celebration on September 16, 1910, the day after Porfirio Diaz’s birthday which provided the dictator two reasons for a super-grand celebration, one to share with hacendados but not with the peones. Diaz was “reelected” on October 4, 1910, but in less than 60 days, Francisco Madero overthrew Diaz, dispatched him from Mexico on the ship Ypiranga and seized control of the government. Concerned for American property and people along the U.S. Mexican border, the War Department dispatched troops to Nogales and elsewhere along the border. The U.S. Army Command Army Posts record (Group 38) states: Following the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, the army camp at Nogales, Arizona was established by 1st Lt. William F. Robinson, Jr., on November 26, 1910 and was first garrisoned by a detachment of Co. B,

18th U.S. Infantry….” For the first 5 years, this Army post was ordered to enforce the Neutrality Laws of the United States with a few officers and less than one hundred men. By 1915 after the outbreak of World War I, German subversive agents in Mexico increased border tensions. By the time General Pershing arrived for an inspection on November 5th, the Nogales post consisted of 32 officers and 874 men. Within days, a major incident occurred when Carranza forces led by General Alvaro Obregon arrived in Nogales, Sonora to drive the forces of Pancho Villa from Nogales.




A birds eye view,above, of Camp Little looing West. Clearing seen is the intersection of Grand Avenue and Western Avenue in Nogales. U.S. Soldiers on the international border are giving orders to fire into Mexico. On the morning of November 26, 1915 at 11:00AM, firings from rebel Villa forces on U.S. troops took place until 12:40 PM when Obregon’s forces arrived, seized control, and U.S. forces withdrew to the camp, with one casualty, Pvt Stephen D. Little, Co. L, 12th Infantry of Fairmount, North Carolina. In honor of this first casualty, the War Department on December 14, 1915 issued and ordered the post named Camp Stephen Little, Nogales, Arizona. Little’s remains were dispatched from downtown Nogales with full military honors. The next major event occurred on March 9, 1916 when Pancho Villa raided Columbus, NM, bringing border matters and the Mexican revolution to national attention. This serious event was less significant for Mexico’s revolution and more significant for the war in Europe. World War 1 erupted in Europe on July 28, 1914. The RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine on May 7, 1915, causing the loss of 1,265 lives including 128 Americans. The U.S. was being drawn closer to war, while President Wilson assured he would keep the U.S. out, surely knowing that possibility was diminishing. Further, he faced an election in November 1916. To begin training troops for war in Europe would have been decidedly unpopular. But the Villa incident at the border provided the opportunity to marshal and train U.S. forces. Responding to the outcry in the U.S. against Villa’s raid, Wilson ordered more troops and federalized guard units sent to the border. In the summer months of 1916, Camp Little expanded from 1,500 to 10,000 troops. Germany plotted to keep the U.S. out of the European war by stirring up trouble on the U.S-Mexican border. With the interception by Britain of the Zimmerman telegram, January 17, 1917, from the German Foreign Minister, Zimmerman to the Foreign Ministry of Mexico, matters changed dramatically. Germany offered Mexico

the return of the lands purchased by the U.S. from Mexico after the Mexican War of 1846 which included Texas, the southwest and California, if Mexico would side with Germany in the war against the U.S. With contents of the telegram revealed to the public on February 24, 1917, the American attitude towards war changed completely. The Congress of the U.S. declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. Troops in Nogales had been training for the war in Europe for a year by the time of the declaration. In the summer of 1917, troops in Nogales realized they would fight the war in France. Pvt Frank Merrill, a mounted orderly in Camp Little of the 35th Infantry from Alma Corners, Wisconsin, wrote his family on June 2, 1917: Dear

Folks: Well I am still here, but can’t tell you how long it will be before I have to leave for some other place. Some of the older ones have gone, and from what I can learn they will be in France before long. I don’t suppose that we know any more about where the troops are going than you do at home, but there is no doubt in my mind but that I will see France before long (reprinted by permission Robert Martin Collection). The 35th Infantry began leaving Nogales on August 27, 1918 in company units, which had been well publicized. It seems no coincidence that on afternoon of August 27th, a battle took place in Nogales beginning with a Mexican customs official shooting a U.S. soldier at the Morley gate followed by shooting along the border from Sonora mobilizing the 35th to the border. By days end, about a dozen Americans, including the U.S Consul in Nogales, Sonora, and about 130 Mexicans were dead. The 35th Infantry left on schedule and was replaced midbattle by the 25th Infantry of buffalo soldiers newly arrived from the Philippines. The history of this incident has many interpretations, but a strong German presence in Mexico, including Nogales is well documented. The “Battle of Nogales” marked the last significant incident in Nogales. Carranza led Mexico from revolution into a new period of development. The Mexican constitution of 1917 helped to form a new nation, which would reach stability in the 1930s. Camp Stephen D. Little, formed to protect American neutrality while guarding American citizens and property at Nogales, fulfilled its’ purpose by 1930. When the revolution disrupted international commerce at the Nogales, the presence of the U.S. Army helped sustain the Nogales economy, but the decision to close Camp Little in 1932, bode ill for Nogalians, who, along with the Arizona congressional delegation, petitioned the War Department not close Camp Little. But the army presence set the course for revived Nogales economy. Hyman Capin, tailor for the U.S. Army, established a large mercantile business. Charles Bracker purchased the Army Store in Nogales in 1924, which became the venerable Bracker’s department store. Many soldiers married local girls and many returned to retire to Nogales. One soldier of the California National Guard came to Nogales in 1916, fell in love with our border community and returned to buy El Potrero, Pete Kitchen’s historic ranch. Many, like General Lowell Rooks ascended to high positions in the U.S. Army. Others, like 1932 West Point Graduate Robert Landry whose first military post assignment was Camp Little formed their careers in Nogales. Landry became Major General Landry, USAF, President Truman’s air aide. The story of Camp Little remains largely untold, as does the inspiring stories of the thousands of men who served here. The story of Camp Little deserves to be thoroughly researched and written that Nogalians may recognize that our history and the history of the U.S. Army are inextricably intertwined. Go to the Hilltop Gallery, gaze along Western Avenue and listen. You may here a bugle-calling reveille.

July 2011 Border Echo





During the 1970s, President Richard M. Nixon was facing hostilities in Vietnam and war protesters at home. Escalated anti-war protests resulted with four students at Kent State University being shot to death by National Guardsmen called out to control a campus protest against the war. Thus, bringing closure to the war proved no easy task. Especially difficult were establishing accountability of those Missing in Action (MIA) and Prisoners of War (POW) with the government of North Vietnam even during President Nixon’s withdrawal program. The North Vietnam government participated by its signing of the mandates of war-time treatment of enemy combatants at the Geneva Convention in 1959 which required that governments make “systematic reports on the identity, location, and treatment of prisoners”. During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese government continuously refused to follow the mandates. Prior to the Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration bombing halt in 1968, North Vietnam had shot down 927 planes and captured 356 prisoners who were taken to the Hoa Lo Prison, also know as the “Heartbreak Hotel,” for interrogation and witness-documented torture. The stench of “years of urine, blood, vomit, and feces permeated every crevice” of the prison. The institution was facetiously renamed by the POWs as the “Hanoi Hilton.” On October 26, 1967, Arizona Senator John S. McCain III, a Navy attack pilot, was shot down over Hanoi and taken to the “Hanoi Hilton where he was near death and tortured beyond the believable limit of human endurance.” His captivity was for five and a half years, of which 15 months were spent in solitary confinement. Fort Belvoir, Virginia housed the Air Force’s 1127th Field Activities Group. The group was dedicated to scrutinizing and unraveling reams of raw data from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It was during a review of old and new reconnaissance photos of the area that it was discovered that Son Tay compound was being enlarged; there was a new wall and a new guard tower in the northwest corner. Son Tay was located on the Song Con River where it flows into the Red River toward Hanoi. The photo intelligence indicated that the POWs had the letter “K” in the dirt in one corner of the compound. “K” was a code letter for “Come get us.” The DIA demonstrated that there were 61 prisoners at Son Tay by name and service. It then was the responsibility of Army Brigadier General Donald D. Blackburn, who was “Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities” to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Army Colonel E. E. “Ed” Mayer, to develop and implement a feasibility study for a rescue plan for the Son Tay POWs. During several justification presentations, it was also noted that one of the reasons to implement the raid was to increase American clout at the Paris peace talks. President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry


Border Echo July 2011


SSgt John Rodriguez, above, is promoted to SFC in the Panama Canal Zone. Kissinger wanted to end the war with dialogue in place of casualties. An interesting hypothetical question was asked in configuration of the rescue plan: “What would North Vietnam do to the other prisoners if one of the camps were raided and a bunch of POWs rescued?” A National Security Council staff responded, succeed or fail, “It would be the greatest thing America could do” for all the prisoners. Blackburn had indicated that the plan had to happen very fast. He had calculated that North Vietnamese troops from the Son Tay artillery school could get there in as little as 30 minutes. So the plan called for the whole raid to be over in 26 minutes. The raid was also weather-dependent. As a result, the months of October or November would offer the safest launch window. However, on July 14, 1970, approximately four months prior to the raid, the well inside Son Tay dried up and the worst monsoon rains in years hit North Vietnam. The POWs were moved to Army barracks at Dong Hoi, 15 miles to the east. The prisoners immediately named the place Camp Faith. Blackburn and Mayer selected Army Colonel Arthur D. “Bull” Simons to lead the raid and Air Force Brigadier General Leroy J. Manor to select and train the helicopter pilots. Both leaders would recruit volunteers for the rescue mission. At Ft. Bragg, notices were sent out that Simons was looking for volunteers. Those interested were to report to the post theater. Simons was known as fearless. “Death is not that far away from me by other causes,” he used to say, “But there was a big difference between being fearless and being careless; I didn’t want my people to get their ass shot off for nothing.” That’s what leaders were for, to not let that happen. Because of his reputation, 500 soldiers showed up and in the afternoon half were back. One of those soldiers who returned was Sgt. John E. Rodriguez who joined the Army at the age of

17 and volunteered for Simons “moderately hazardous” mission at age of 26. Rodriguez, a member of the Nogales Veterans of Foreign Wars and resident of Kino Springs, included in his military background Basic and Advanced Infantry training, 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, Airborne Basic Course, Special Forces Training Group and Qualification Course, 5th Vietnam Special Forces Group and 6th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC. The entire group was interviewed by Simons and Lt. Colonel Joseph R. Cataldo, a medical surgeon, and two sergeant majors. Simons probed their combat qualifications and assessed their physical condition-he was looking for soldiers strong enough to carry the prisoners out of Son Tay if they had to. Doctor Cataldo taunted them to see how quickly they could be provoked under stress. Simons and Cataldo selected 15 officers and 82 enlisted men and Rodriguez was one of those selected. Rodriguez was on his way to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. It is interesting to note that President Nixon and Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird wanted to be sure “that every step had been taken” to assure success. It was then decided to move the deployment date from October to November. After enduring a rigorous three months of training at Eglin, Rodriguez was now prepared for “Operation Kingpin” even though as he left from Eglin for a 28-hour flight to Takhli, Thailand via California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines he had no idea of the mission objectives or where he was going. On Thursday, November 19, President Nixon gave his approval to execute and that was the “final go.” On the raid the three teams would be codenamed “Blueboy,” “Redwine,” and “Greenleaf.” Rodriguez would be a member of the “Greenleaf” helicopter assault team which was personally commanded by Bull Simons. The final staging area was in

SSgt John Rodriguez, left, at the 1998 Dallas reunion, is joined by Air Force POW David Ford and Son Tay Raider Tom Powell. Rodriguez, top, at the 1998 Veteran’s Day Parade in Nogales.

Udorn, Thailand at the Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. It would then be a 338 mile flight from Udorn to Son Tay for the raid. Four hours before the raid was to begin, the assault teams were told of the mission and they understood the objectives. The rescue was to be quick and lethal and as Simmons’ last comment to his men, he stated, “Our mission is to rescue prisoners, not take prisoners. And if we walk into a trap, if it turns out that they know we’re coming, don’t dream about walking out of North Vietnam-unless you’ve got wings on your feet…” As Simmons’ helicopter, code name “Apple One,” was approaching the target site, the pilot was off course about 400 meters south and landed at the “Secondary School.” The school had a similar appearance as the target site but as Rodriguez said, “The rice paddies were much higher and the wall was surrounded with barbed wire.” Instead of students coming out of the building armed soldiers did, and a fire fight broke out leaving about 100-200 of the soldiers dead and no casualties with the “Greenleaf” team. This mistaken landing proved to be a life saver for the rescue teams as it was later discovered to have Russian and Chinese soldiers only 400 yards from Son Tay Prison. After the fight, Simons’ 22 men loaded into the “Apple One” and flew to the target area to form a perimeter for protection. While there Rodriguez heard on the radio the following response, “Negative items” (no prisoners) Search complete: Negative items.” It was then that Simmons gave the order to “Prepare to withdraw to LZ (the landing zone) for extraction.” Rodriguez recalls Simmons stating “that if one stays, we all stay” meaning that the count on each of the two helicopters had to be accurate. Rodriguez

and Company then flew back to Thailand on a quiet trip. As Simmons had indicated, the purpose of the mission was to capture and return the POWs as “they are our brothers in arms.” Even though Son Tay Prison was a dry hole, President Nixon stated it best for the American people, “Regardless of results. The men on this project have my complete backing and there will be no second guessing if the plan fails-It is worth the risk and the planning is superb.” Quotes and historical notes from the books: The Raid by Benjamin F. Schemmer and the 1986 updated revision The Raid The Son Tay Prison Rescue Mission by Benjamin F. Schemmer; John E. Rodriguez military scrapbook and military room provided invaluable insight.

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On August 2, 1990 militarized units from the country of Iraq invaded and seized control of Kuwait. The invasion triggered a global effort, which included the United States. One such effort was Operation Desert Shield to deter any efforts on the part of Iraq to further invade Kuwait’s oil rich neighbor, Saudi Arabia. On August 7, deployment of U.S. forces began. The United Nations condemned Iraq’s actions and called for its immediate and unconditional withdrawal. Over the years, the United States’ efforts to stabilize conflict in the Middle East have continued under a multitude of components that include diplomatic, economic, and military activities. The effects of these efforts resonate to this day in all aspects of life in this country. Santa Cruz County has a rich military history, which continues today with men and women from our own back yard serving selflessly in military conflicts. One such sons of Santa Cruz is Luis Fernando Parra, local attorney, public figure and veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Like most locals, Parra attended schools in Nogales and graduated from Nogales High School in 1989. After graduation Parra decided to enlist in the United States Army to serve the country and obtain the benefits awarded to soldiers to further his education. Parra then completed his advanced Infantry training in Fort Benning, Georgia where he received specialized training to join the mechanized infantry unit. The training enabled Parra to man all aspects of the Army’s Bradley Fighting vehicle. The vehicle is a personnel carrier that is used in battle and can hold up to ten soldiers. After his initial training, Parra was assigned

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Local attorney Luis Fernando Parra with soldiers from the First Calvary Division during active service overseas stop and pose for a photo of remembrance to share with family upon their return home. to the United States Army’s celebrated First Calvary Division in Fort Hood, Texas, to receive additional desert training. “This prepared us for what was to come with the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August of 1990,” Parra said. This invasion also posed a threat to Saudi Arabia, which is when Parra and his unit were sent to the Middle East to defend the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. From August to January in 1990, Parra was on the frontlines on what was called Operation Desert Shield

awaiting orders. “December 23, 1990 was an extremely happy day for our unit. After four months of being out in the desert we were ordered to come back into town in Saudi Arabia and we were assigned brand new Bradley vehicles that were equipped with new technology which included reactive armor that protected our unit from enemy fire,” Parra recalled. This would prove beneficial later when General Colin Powell asked the Unit to engage the enemy in reconnaissance missions inside of Iraq. This engagement led to one the first ground battles in the Middle East titled the Battle of Ruqi Pocket. As the units engaged, the Iraqi forces were pushed back into an area called Wadi Al-Batin where allied forces were able to attack from various directions. “That became known as the Hail Mary play in the battle, and it struck the beginning of the ground war in the Middle East,” said Parra. General Powell and President Bush soon thereafter negotiated a cease-fire, which marked the end of those military conflicts, but the First Calvary completed one last, much less publicized mission before they returned home to friends and family. Operation Provide Comfort assigned the First Calvary to provide blankets and food to an Iraqi minority fleeing to Turkey through the mountains of Northern Saudi Arabia. “I can tell you to this very day, I remember when we heard the cease fire on the radio, which the only radio station news we received was the


Local student, attorney and community member Luis Fernando Parra is greeted by his family upon completion of his duty overseas. Parra, left, inside of the Army’s Bradley Fighting vehicle. British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC), so in order to hear it we had to hold up our antennas high above our heads in order to receive any transmission,” said Parra. It was not long after hearing this jubilant announcement that Parra and the First Calvary Division received orders to return home in June of 1991. “I called home and I let my loved ones know that I was flying into Fort Hood, Texas, and then to Tucson International Airport where my family came out to welcome me home. To this day I remember receiving an overwhelming welcome from all my family and friends that still brings tears to my eyes,” said Parra. Parra served one more year with the National Guard Unit before being Honorably Discharged from service. He then went on to continue his education with the help of the Military GI Bill awarded him after his military service. Parra enrolled at the University of Arizona and his persistence and hard work resulted in receiving a fellowship to attend Gonzaga Law School. “After attending this fellowship I was hooked and I knew immediately that I was going to pursue law school, so then I applied to Arizona State University (ASU) School of Law and the rest is history,” said Parra. Parra received his degree from ASU in 1999 and went on to pass the State Bar of Arizona. In his professional life, Parra went to work as an attorney for the City of Tucson, then the City of Nogales and later Santa Cruz County. Over the past five years, Parra has successfully operated his law firm, Parra Law Offices, in Nogales, specializing on international law and immigration issues. Parra has been embraced by the community of Santa Cruz for his hard work and dedication. Along with his professional duties, he has also immersed himself in community service through many various organizations, businesses and schools. He has served as President of the Nogales Lions Club and is currently an active board member. As part of the local Lions Club, Parra is chairman of and an integral member in the founding Nogales’s first Leo Club with over fifty young adult members from around the county. He was also selected as the 2011 Lion of the Year for his dedicated commitment to the Nogales Lions Club. With all the achievements and success he has garnered, Parra prides himself most on being a family man, a focused businessman and a positive member of the

community; traits he claims were cultivated and polished during his years of military service. “If you focus on your goals and work on accomplishing them, you stay determined,” said Parra of his motivation to excel. “And if I can say anything to families of men and women who are serving in our military now, welcome them home. It is one of the most important moments in my life and I’m sure that it will be for them, and it will propel them to great things in the future,” Parra recalling his experience. “Right now I am enjoying the sector of law I am practicing. It has been tremendously challenging but at the same time it is overwhelmingly grati-

fying work.” Parra served his country on foreign soil, chose a career that upholds the laws of the United States, donates his time and energy in the advancement of his fellow man through volunteerism and cherishes his home and family. He is the American Dream reincarnate and the epitome of the word, “service”. To contact Parra Law Office visit 571 N. Grand Ave., Nogales, AZ 85621 Phone: (520) 2819369 Fax: (520) 281-5705 or visit online at email:

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HIPPY Program Director Vanessa Rothstein congratulates students for their hard work BY DAVID RAMIREZ MATUS

For the past five years the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) has been preparing children in Santa Cruz County for a successful future. The program is one of four initiatives from the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools, Alfredo I. Velasquez. This program provides parents of three, four and five year old children with the educational tools to ensure success in school and beyond. Coordinators work with parents and provide them with well-developed curricula, books and materials designed to strengthen their child’s cognitive skills, early literacy skills, and social/emotional and physical development.

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The HIPPY program empowers parents as primary educators of their children in the home and foster parent involvement in school and community life to maximize the chances of successful early school experiences. – The local HIPPY program has formed in partnership with First Things First to create a sound educational foundation for children from birth. First Things First is an Arizona program that helps kids five years old and younger receive a quality education, healthcare and family support to arrive in school ready to succeed. With much of the same focus in early childhood development, this partnership is a welcome program to a community hungry for education. Two hundred local children are currently enrolled in the program with 60 more on a waiting

list. “The difference is that preschool is a place where kids go and socialize, work and learn, but HIPPY is a place where the parents work with their children, spend quality time, learn and create memories and bonds that both parents and children will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Vilma Valera, Program Coordinator for the Santa Cruz County HIPPY program. “Our coordinators visit the parents’ home and work with them on the curriculum, but in reality the parents do the work, which is amazing to see the great work and dedication that these parents do to help their children excel,” said Valera. “My child (Andrea Bell), 5, has been in the program for the last three years, and we were referred to the program because of the different therapies she was already receiving, but we have seen an amazing response from her. She now knows numbers, can write her name, recognizes shapes and we are extremely delighted with the program and urge parents to take advantage of the resources and show support for the great things that the program is doing for education,” said Mariana Bell, HIPPY program parent. “I was a teacher at Coronado Elementary and it is important that children arrive ready for kindergarten because if a student gets behind, it is very rare for that child to catch up,” said Vanessa Rothstein, HIPPY program director. “It’s a successful program that the community really needs to stay around. Everyone works extremely hard for one common purpose and that is our community’s kids,” said Rothstein. To learn more about the program please visit the HIPPY office at 2921 N. Grand Ave., Nogales, AZ 85621 Call: (520) 761-1362 Fax: (520) 2819713 Email:


The Living Center recently held its grand opening celebration at its new location in Nogales. Above 2nd from left, Anabel Conners with co-founders Rick Ploski and Anthony Alberta.


The Living Center offers the ability to empower and inspire


Every community has members who suffer from substance abuse and mental health issues. Those afflicted with these problems enter a perpetual cycle of obstacles they need to overcome in order to recover. This daunting road to recovery is an almost impossible task to attain which prompted Rick Ploski and Anthony Alberta to offer solutions and support systems that would aid persons in recovery to succeed. Being successful with their own recovery, they were confident that their own experiences would be beneficial to others seeking their own recuperation. The culmination of these efforts is the founding of The Living Center (TLC) in Yuma in 2001, which recently opened its doors in Santa Cruz County. One of the first of its kind in the area, the program serves as a resource center of support for its “friends.” “Friends in Recovery” is the term used to describe members participating in the program. On the road to recovery, The Living Center provides the necessary tools to succeed. Life skills to get back on the path of living a sober life, which include shopping, laundry, work schedules, probation requirements, legal issues, etc. Transitional housing offers a safe and secure home provided to members who could not be eligible for traditional housing or could otherwise not afford it. The Job Search program offers guidance and tools to better the odds of finding employment. The computer training center is equipped with computers to work on, practice with, and learn at the individual’s pace with the support of the recovery volunteers. The program also offers GED assistance for those seeking to further their education. The Living Center also runs the Turtle Bay

Café that is a quick stop restaurant run by members of the program to obtain employment training and generate an income. It is located adjacent to the Living Center and is set to open its doors to the public in the near future. The culinary items that will be available will be quick foods such as sandwiches and easily prepared lunches. Members of the program benefit from a busy schedule of functions tailored to support and share experiences with others. Every Friday members choose what they want to eat and the food is prepared and served; every second Tuesday of the month is Pizza Day. Sundays is movie night for members of the center. Trips are also planned so that members interact with other “Friends in Recovery” at the Yuma and Casa Grande facilities. The busy schedule of events is part of the rehabili-

tation process and helps individuals adapt to a sober life. “Every peer specialists working with our friends are people who have dealt with similar types of problems, and that’s what I love about the program. We are not only talking the talk but walking the walk, so we are hiring people that have made that positive change to help other people who are on the path to a new life,” said Elga Manjarrez. The staff include Diego Chavez, Elizabeth Program Support Coordinator Anabel Connor. The Living center is under funding through Cenpatico Behavioral Health Services. For more information please visit The Living Center at 2073 N. Grand Ave., or call (520) 394-4380.

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Staff and volunteers at the Nogales Community Food bank assist in the application process of the SNAP program.



The Nogales Community Food Bank is now offering assistance with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly known as food stamps. “The Idea was to create a one stop location to receive these programs that are so vital to our community,” said Community Food Bank (NCFB) Director Arthur Espinoza. Members of the community are now able to call in and set up an appointment where the NCFB can now assist in preparing the initial application. Staff at NCFB have been certified and trained on the application process to expedite the process of applying for SNAP. To increase the efficiency, the NCFB also has the help of volunteers from the WIA work program on hand assisting in the preparation of the applications. “The Nogales Community Food Bank is proud that we are able to process the applications for the SNAP program, this is done only by appointment so we urge the community to take advantage of this great opportunity and our great staff, in particular Oscar Rosas and our volunteers from the work program,” said Espinoza. “We are committed to the residents of Santa Cruz County and anyone who is in need of these services, the first step is to call the NCFB and we will assist you in the initial application process so that those who qualify can receive these benefits.” said Espinoza about the application process. For more information on the Nogales Community Food Bank and programs offered, call Oscar Rosas at (520) 281-2790. Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am till 2:00 pm.


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Mariposa Community Health Center recently held the grand opening of its new building that houses the WIC and Breast Feeding Programs.


Staff at the Mariposa McDonalds enjoy the new classes as staff from the Santa Cruz One Stop look on.


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Serving tasty hamburgers in some of the busiest McDonald’s in the country is something local employees pride themselves with on a daily basis, but also furthering your education and job skills is now part of the package deal. McDonald’s and Santa Cruz County’s One-Stop Career Center are working together to educate and train the local talent currently employed at our local McDonald’s. “We have some of the most talented people and we know that education is one of the only key ingredients missing for them to move ahead,” sates Jim Rowe, District Manager. The program titled “English Under the Arches” is in the forefront of technology and education. Each student receives a laptop that provides them the lessons and work at their own pace. The class is consists of a basic eight-week course followed by a twenty-two week course of conversation, all based on the successful McDonald’s management system. After the completion of these two courses,

the student/employees then undergo a writing course. “The amazing part of this is that we have an eighty-eight percent success rate. I don’t know of any other institutions that have these types of results,” said LeAnn Richards, owner of the three Nogales McDonald’s restaurants. “This is a huge commitment on their part. They can’t miss the class; if they go on vacation they are expected to take their laptop with them and log on, which McDonald’s has given them so they could do so. This just gives me goose bumps because it is so cool and Nogales needs this,” said Richards. Sylvia Godinez is the current instructor for the program and has received extensive training to be able to teach these classes to students. She has been teaching adult education for the last ten years with the Nogales Unified School District before she came on at McDonalds. “This type of learning with technology is exciting, not only to me as a teacher, but I can see it in the students who are eager to learn in this environment,” said teacher Sylvia Godinez.


Rene Jimenez, founder and trainer, at Western Boxing Club talks about boxing, his students and the future of the gym.


Before he was a trainer or boxer, Rene Jimenez was playing basketball at a local gym in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, when an argument turned into a melee involving several other people. This unfortunate incident turned into something positive because watching from a distance, local championship boxer David “El Destroyer” Lopez witnessed the brawl and immediately recruited Jimenez as a boxer. After years of boxing, Jimenez’ focus turned from being in the ring as a boxer to being ringside as a trainer as his passion to teach the art grew. This led him to start a number of boxing clubs in Nogales, Sonora, but throughout the ensuing years fate would not have him remain in our sister city. Through different friends and associates, Jimenez was encouraged to see the need to start up a club in Nogales, Arizona, and after much planning Western Boxing Club was started and has remained open to all those interested in learning the sport. For the past year, Jimenez has been training local kids the basics of modern boxing. The fast paced training and mentoring pushes newcomers to quickly excel. Several exhibition bouts in the last year have proven that Nogales has promising talent and a promising trainer to guide them on the right path. Young up and coming boxers like Sebastian

“El Gallito” Landeros, one of the best local technical boxers at six years old, Jonathon “El Moja” Mendoza, a mentor to others and a force to recon with who has been fighting for the last year, are but a few examples. “Boxing is a way out of trouble for some kids, and we know that sports opens doors that otherwise would not be open for some of these kids,” said Jimenez, “This is my passion, and the kids make it all worth it. I had one child selected to the Youth

Championships which is a tremendous honor,” said Jimenez. “That is my goal: to give a helping hand to youth looking for a better life,” said Jimenez. Western Boxing Club is open from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for youth under the age of fifteen and from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for participants of all ages. There is an initial $20 fee to enter the club followed by $40 monthly payments for aspiring boxers. For more information on how to donate or about joining, please call (520) 264-8089.

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Fourth of July festivities held around Santa Cruz County included parades and fireworks that dazzled crowds with beautiful displays.

Music, food and entertainment pleased crowds at the Nogales fireworks display. The Nogales Fire Department, inset, was on hand helping with the event.

Rio RIco High School Cheerleaders raised money at the Nogales festivites by selling various food products

Girl Scout Troop 1662 celebrated the Fourth of July with a float at the City of Patagonia.

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Outgoing President Patricia Wallace congratulates new Rotary President Jorge Leon. Rotarians honored, below, for there outstanding service.


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Nogales Rotary Club installs new President and Board of Directors The Nogales Rotary Club held an installation and awards banquet on June 23, 2011 for its incoming new president Jorge L. Leon. The out coming President Patricia Wallace conducted the greeting and introductions of recognition awards recipients for the 2010 Rotary year. The Rotarian of the Year award was presented to Arnold Quijada at the ceremony. The elected officers for the 2011 Rotary year are President Jorge L. Leon; President Elect Alfredo Velasquez; Vice President Arnold Quijada; Secretary Diana Kelton; Treasurer Edgar Cordova; Sergeant at Arms Ed Suckley and Foundation Treasurer Jose Valencia. The 2011 incoming Board of Directors are International Service Director Patricia Reyes; Club Service Director Jim Rowe; Vocational Service Director Alfredo Velasquez; Community Service Director Arthur Espinoza; Membership Director Maria Castillo; R.I. Foundation Edmundo Gamillo; Bulletin Editor Mike Scott; Youth Exchange Sigrid Maitrejean; Guest Speaker Chair Nohe Garcia and New Generations Director David Ramirez Matus. Incoming President Jorge L. Leon said, "I’m very excited for 2011. We will continue serving the community with all the Rotary projects we have and the many we will undertake this new year. I'm going to do my best with team work and dedication to our service. I'm happy to be here and be part of the club."


Leo Club members at the Nogales Fourth of July festivities and parade. Leo members sold food as a fundraiser for future projects and also had a float at the parade as a promotional tool for the club.




The Santa Cruz River Leo Club held its first fundraiser on the Fourth of July. The club also participated in the local Nogales Fourth of July parade riding on a Ford Super Duty truck loaned to them by the local Horne Ford Dealership. The newly charted club was busy over the past weeks preparing to participate in the city’s largest yearly event. Mentors and chair persons from the Nogales Lions Club, Luis Parra and Alma Cecilia Parra, oversaw all the preparations and assisted in making the fundraiser a reality. The preparation included decorating the truck with various flags and patriotic décor that included banners outfitted with the Leo Club and Lions Club logo. Members also prepared to sell tortilla chips that were prepared with vegetables, cheese and chili sauce. The club also made arrangements with a local ice pop vendor to sell popsicles at a discounted price to the club so the club could incur a profit from the sale of every popsicle. “It was really hard work, but in the end we gained experience, leadership and organization that we all lacked. We really pulled it off!” said Mariana Gastelum, Leo Club Treasurer. During the early hours of the morning, Leo members were found decorating the Horne Ford truck for the parade and preparing the food for the Fourth of July festivities. As the parade began, Leo members also welcomed Brazilian Exchange Student Mariane Hernandes from the Lions Club C. Kirby Smithe Program who also joined in on the day-long event. After the parade, members set up a booth at Fleischer Park, selling tortilla chips, popsicles and bottled water. During the City of Nogales sponsored festivities, enthusiastic members hawked their wares to the pubic. Leo members were treated to the grand finale of the marvelous fireworks display. After a tiring day, members packed up and went home after a satisfying first fundraiser. The monies raised will be used by the club for future activities to benefit the community of Santa Cruz.

The club consisting of young community service activists was charted earlier this year with more than sixty members. The Santa Cruz Leo Club is sponsored and affiliated with the Nogales Lions Club. Lion’s chair persons for the Leo Club

are Luis Fernando Parra, Alma Cecilia Parra and current Leo President Antonio Irastorza. For more information about the club please call (520) 313-6113 or email:

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The Mexican Consulate in Nogales hosted a prestigious painting exhibition by Mexican Artist Daniel Guerrero and students from the Art Institute bearing his name “Estudio Guerrero.”



The Rio Rico Chamber of Commerce hosted its Sixth Annual business meeting, dinner and raffle which proceeds from the raffle were donated to the Rio Rico Rotary Club, Rio Rico Little League and the Santa Cruz County Boys and Girls Club. PHOTOS | EDGARDO MUNOZ


Nogales, Sonora, Mexico hosted its Third Annual “Festival del Tequila.” The event was an effort to encourage tourism in the State of Sonora and Southern Arizona. Over twenty tequila distributors were on hand displaying their wares.

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The Knights of Columbus held it’s yearly fundraiser to build a new building in Rio Rico for the Most Holy Nativity Catholic Church. This was an all weekend event held at the Rio Rico Racquet Club that concluded with a superb breakfast on Sunday morning. The church has acquired the property and a design plan to go forward with the project and is now seeking funding to erect the new building. To donate or contact please visit 395 Avenida Coatimundi, Rio Rico, AZ 85648 or call (520) 281-7414 Fax: 520281-1713. Visit online at or email:


When in Santa Cruz County you don’t typically think of Italian Cuisine as an option, but locals can tell you that one great lunch option is Bella Mia Ristorante in Nogales, AZ. All the traditional favorites are on the menu, like Lasagna, Fettuccini Alfredo or even spaghetti and

meatballs. A wonderful time to taste these favorites is at lunchtime as the lunch menu features all these great items at reasonable prices. There are also great little gems on the menu at are unbelievably tasty. One such item is the Spicy Romano Parmigiana, which are strips of chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, and almonds in a spicy wine sauce

that melts on the taste buds. Also delightful is Andrea’s S.O.S. Salad, which is an amazing baked salmon on fresh spinach, pine nuts and pancetta, topped with a light raspberry vinaigrette. 3 out 5 stars. To contact visit 204 W Mariposa Rd Nogales, AZ or call (520) 761-353. Visit online at www.

July 2011 Border Echo


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