Sep 22, 2022 • 1HR 27M

Nature Has No Borders: A Live Podcast with Erick Meza of Sierra Club Borderlands

We discuss the history of The Border Chronicle, the environmental impacts of the wall, and how solutions to border woes might be in the flora and fauna before our eyes.

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Appears in this episode

Todd Miller
The Border Chronicle podcast is hosted by Melissa del Bosque and Todd Miller. Based in Tucson, Arizona, longtime journalists Melissa and Todd speak with fascinating fronterizos, community leaders, activists, artists and more at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Episode details

As you all know, dear readers, we are in a new era at The Border Chronicle. Our fellowship with the Substack local initiative ended on September 9, and now, financially speaking, we are sailing solo. To continue our on-the-ground reporting, analysis, podcasts, etc., we will need your support. So we are very happy to announce that starting today, we will be accepting group subscriptions.

This means that if you subscribe in a group, there will be a 40 percent discount per person. For example, if five people signed up in a group, the total would be $180, 10 would cost $360, 20 would cost $720, etc. We hope that will work perfectly in many scenarios, including classrooms. Paid subscribers will also get access to monthly discussion threads we have with experts about different border issues, such as the one we are planning for October 6 on climate change, displacement, and borders (as we begin to think about the United Nations summit in November. By the way, speaking of climate issues, today is global Loss and Damage day). And there will be other content available only to paid subscribers in the future.

Get 40% off a group subscription

Another thing The Border Chronicle would like to offer to group subscribers is one presentation or group discussion per subscription, including for university or high school classrooms (and in that case, we could make it per semester). We can Zoom in digitally, or meet in person if you happen to be close by, and talk about the border, border journalism, or any subject matter to your liking. Engaging with, and creating journalism from, the community remains a top priority for us.

Group subscriptions are something new to us, so this will be a bit of an experiment at first. If you can’t afford the above set of prices but still hope to have a group subscription, please contact us at We are willing to negotiate to your budget. And if your institution can afford more than the prices listed above, we of course would welcome that too.


Each group will have its own in-group administrator. This administrator can remove and add names and emails from the group subscriber list.

So if you are in or know of a group that might be interested in this, please be in contact. We would love to hear from you.

Now let’s turn our attention to our first live podcast. This will kick off a series of pieces looking at the environment and climate change through the month of October.

Nature Has No Borders: A Live Podcast with Erick Meza of Sierra Club Borderlands

We discuss the history of The Border Chronicle, the environmental impacts of the wall, and how solutions to border woes might be in the flora and fauna before our eyes.

From The Border Chronicle live podcast on August 6. From left to right Erick Meza, Melissa del Bosque, and Todd Miller. (Photo Credit: Eugenio del Bosque)


Today, we are offering you The Border Chronicle’s first live podcast. And we mean “live” in the sense that we recorded this in front of a lively, very engaged audience in Patagonia, Arizona, in August.

This podcast is in three parts.

In the first part, Melissa and I talk about The Border Chronicle, how we came into existence, why we came into existence, what we’ve been working on, and what we hope to be working on going forward. As Melissa explains, we want “to report on the border from a border community perspective for a national audience, as journalists who are here in the community and not somebody parachuting into the community and putting their spin on it.”

Melissa highlighted some stories she’s reported over the last year, including one about people’s valuables being trashed by Border Patrol and the concept of “border theater” (if you haven’t checked it out yet, read Tuesday’s piece on Texas governor Greg Abbott and Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s foibles). I talked a little bit about our coverage of technology and climate change.

But the star of the show was Erick Meza of Sierra Club Borderlands (he starts around 30:00 if you want to skip ahead). The chapter of the U.S.’s largest environmental organization is a coalition of groups representing border communities, civil rights activists, faith groups, environmental groups, indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ people, all of whom have come together to protect the community, culture, and environment in the borderlands.

(Photo Credit: Eugenio del Bosque)

Erick breaks down the environmental impacts of the border wall and gets into the nitty-gritty of Sierra Club’s history, which in the past has included some strong anti-immigrant stances.

“For me, the most important part of the work is to engage with communities,” Erick told us during the interview, “and try to elevate the communities that get affected by all these injustices on the border, in the borderlands.”

While answering questions from the audience in the third part of the podcast (which begins around the one-hour mark), Erick—who is originally from Guaymas, Mexico—told us that “nature has no borders,” but it has edges, and it is on those edges where there is the greatest biodiversity. And in these edge areas, like the borderlands, it is up to people to create a habitable space for generations to come, human and nonhuman.

“One day, I want to say, ‘Hey, son, look at this mountain. This is where the jaguars live.’ Instead of saying, ‘Look, son, this is where the jaguars used to live, because we built a wall.’”

The Border Chronicle wishes to thank Voices from the Border and Sierra Club Borderlands for sponsoring the event, especially Maggie Urgo and India Aubry for their organizing efforts.

You can follow Sierra Club Borderlands here on Twitter or Facebook, as well as sign up for its newsletter here.

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