The photographs on the walls of the Gathering Grounds in February served as a visual narrative for the intern program run by the Border Earth Care Youth Institute (BECY) to foster a sense of stewardship in young adults. BECY selects high school students from Patagonia, Nogales, Sonoita, and Elgin to be interns in a six-week summer program. The ten students are paid for their participation and work side by side with men and women who have made careers in various aspects of conservation. They learn how to plant, how to build, how to help the earth, how to be leaders.

The opening reception, held on February 5, attracted a lot of interested people. Carlos Mingura, a senior at Patagonia Union High School, was there with school friends who worked together last fall to plant native pollinators and build structures for rainwater harvesting on the school grounds. Carlos has been a BECY intern for the past two summers. He spoke eloquently about the program, saying that it had truly changed his life and adding that caring for the environment made him aware of many new ideas and possibilities. “Now, I even eat vegetables!” he said, as proof of his new outlook. This brought a laugh from the crowd, many of whom were quite moved by the speech.

The sale of these photographs was a way of raising funds for the program. If you missed the exhibit or would like to make a donation to BECY, contact Caleb Weaver at or go directly to – involved/wish-list/investment-packages/. For more information about Borderlands’ programs, go to