About Border Interfaith

Border Interfaith is a broad-based community organization located in El Paso, Texas. We are affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the West / Southwest IAF and the Texas IAF.  We develop leadership through education and interfaith relationships to encourage democratic practices and meaningful community action.

Our members are faith and neighborhood communities who work across religious, racial, ethnic, economic, generational and neighborhood lines for the good of the whole community.  Border Interfaith's goal is to develop leadership in our member institutions.

Border Interfaith believes that in order for community leaders to be effective, we must be educated and informed citizens.  We engage in public discourse and initiate action guided by that conversation.  Active citizenship creates opportunities for ordinary people to effect real and dramatic change in the community.  We strive to hold elected officials accountable for their public responsibilities.

Teaching & Practicing Democracy

Border Interfaith embraces a vision of a vibrant bilingual border community.  We are convinced that El Paso can be a better place to live – better schools, better jobs, healthier citizens.

• We commit as institutional members to work for a community where the schools are excellent, all residents have affordable healthcare, and all people are treated with respect.

• We hold our elected officials accountable to ensure they protect our natural environment, manage growth carefully, and make basic services available to all.

• We pledge to identify and train leaders whose web of relationships transcend economic, racial, gender, and religious divisions.

Through building relational power and engaging actively in democratic civic life, our institutions and leaders will transform our border region.  Our motivation comes from the teaching of our diverse faiths and from our fervent belief in liberty and justice.


  • Latest from the blog

    Border Interfaith Leaders Extend Water Lines Into Colonia Island

      Over 20 years ago, a developer in the City of El Paso bought acreage in a plot of land, an undeveloped “island” landlocked by, but not included within, El Paso’s municipal lines.  The developer recorded the purchase with the County, but then -- unbeknownst to anyone -- illegally partitioned the land and sold the reduced-sized lots to low-income families without providing certificates of occupancy.     120 families built their homes in the Norma-Georgia-Seventh-La Mesa colonia, having little idea they had purchased and were residing in illegal subdivisions.  Because the land was not part of the City, and illegally partitioned in the County, neither local nor state entities assumed responsibility for ensuring access to safe water.      Some of the families from this subdivision who were members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church expressed their struggles at a house meeting convened by Fr. Pablo Matta, and later partnered with Border Interfaith to bring infrastructure to their colonia.   While working with the families, Border Interfaith leaders discovered the unauthorized nature of their tenancy and soon after began organizing to explain to the county why they didn’t have certificates of occupancy. Their first victory consisted of compelling the County to formally recognize and register their occupancy in County records.    The fight for the extension of city water lines into the neighborhood continued as they organized to request funding from the Texas Water Development Board and financial assistance from the Economically Distressed Areas Program. Unfortunately, they received news that the state funding was depleted.   Finally, after many obstacles, the second victory came when Border Interfaith and EPISO approached the CEO of the El Paso Water Utilities and requested the authorized expenditure of $2 Million from the Public Service Board budget to extend public water utility lines into Norma-Georgia-Seventh-La Mesa. Together, the CEO and the leaders worked to secure the necessary votes from the Public Service Board, and on February 8, 2017 the Board voted unanimously in favor of the $2 Million funding.    Construction is programmed to begin in October of 2017.    [In photo above, Fr. Pablo Matta leads celebration.]  
    read more

    Border Interfaith & EPISO Put 'We the People' Back Into Local Politics

    One day before the launch of early voting, hundreds of Border Interfaith and EPISO leaders assembled to challenge candidates for Mayor, City Council and the Board of Trustees for El Paso and Ysleta School Board around the issues most impacting residents’ daily lives. Specifically, leaders asked candidates to commit to: on-time completion of specific infrastructure projects, opposition to statewide anti-immigrant legislation, and funding for Project ARRIBA to the tune of $1.5 million over five years. City candidates were also challenged to publicly support a living wage for subcontractors who work for the city government. With the exception of one candidate, the El Paso Times reports that “nearly all the candidates answered yes on all the issues and pledged to support Border Interfaith and EPISO on their agendas.” At the conclusion of the assembly, leaders in the audience were challenged to take note of candidate responses and communicate what they heard to at least ten voters each before the final Election Day in May. [Photo Credit: David Burge / El Paso Times] Grassroots Democracy on Display During EPISO Event, El Paso Times [pdf] Future City Leaders Answer Questions About Immigration, Infrastructure, KVIA  ABC 7 [pdf] Organizaciones Religiosas se Reunen Con Candidatos Antes de las Elecciones, Entravision / Univision      
    read more
    See all posts

get updates