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Dispatch From US/Mexico Border: Lessons of The Local Peace Economy From the Caravan

7 January 2019



By Kelly Curry, CODEPINK Growing a Local Peace Economy Organizer

Photo Credit: Kelly Curry and Rob Wilson: 12 Photos of the Migrant Caravan: Hope and Self-Determination 

As we sail through immigration at the border of The United States and Mexico, my host announces “this is your very lucky night.” She hands me my passport and we start our journey back to Los Angeles. 

The gift is driving through in an hour instead of four. 

As the text messages roll in from the warehouse shelter at Benito Juarez and I keep my promise of blasting these messages and updates about the federales and the illegal eviction of the Caravaners, happening imminently... I think about the true fuel of The Local Peace Economy.

The true fuel is Love.

This is the mechanism that has me re-organizing my fears of what could happen tonight into peaceful prayers of what I want to unfold; a moment where the hopes, efforts and intentions of the Hondurans in downtown Tijuana right now, are actually held with the Grace and Respect that these people carry.

The Grace and Respect that they deserve.

A  moment where the police, federal and local... the media and bystanders support the life and futures of all involved... not work against them.

The closer we got to LA, and the more I think about my brief interactions with the folks trying to find “safety” in the US, the more I realize that they are already living The Local Peace Economy.

EC90D652-3A9E-489E-9AF6-F846997ABCFC.jpegIt is in them. 

It is in their systems. 

It is who they are.

They travel in large groups in order to provide one another with security and resources. They look after one another and organically elect leadership through inherent skills and strengths.

Women, children, the elderly and the ill are prioritized. 

The ingenuity, creativity and resilience is energizing and contagious just to be around. Of course there are exceptions and aberrations, but what I witnessed, what we are witnessing is a migration of folks who hold inherent indigenous technologies that will enhance our communities here in the US, as we face issues exacerbated by War Economy, like climate change, and the continued diasporas that will ensue as a result. 

Adherence to these natural systems yields the sustenance of a healthy society that understands that one person’s whole survival is dependent on the survival of the group.

Often, while watching them laugh with their children, chit chat and just be, I often wonder about them seeking refuge in a country where the overall culture has lost its way. 

IMG_4730.jpgDuring these moments I am also reminded of the harvest of The Local Peace Economy organized by Jodie and her active group in Los Angeles as well as Xan Joi and the Bay Area crew and other CODEPINK folks who joined in this effort.

The way the donations rolled in for the Caravaners — quickly- the way new friendships popped off, community sprouted, stories were shared, issues and tensions dissolved-resolved, information moved, people moved... support of life, true engagement and new neuro-pathways blazed!

The Local Peace Economy is always already paving the way as we walk it, so all needs are met and no one is left behind.

These thoughts help me not break down over a world I just don’t understand anymore.  

A world of chaos, confusion, and more hate (fear) than I ever could have imagined. 


I find myself inviting these thoughts to take root as I consider what a gift it is to be able to utilize my life’s energy to share The Local Peace Economy and its ethos, throughout the world and watch what happens as it unfolds. 

Thinking like that gives clarity a boost and fuels the fire for the courage to push forward.

Thinking about the bad things, the dark things, all the stuff I saw back there in TJ,  can lead to depression, anxiety, self-medication and fear-all things that fuel War Economy... not the Peaceful future we know is possible if we keep at it. 

What has happened here in the US around War Economy juxtaposed hyperbolic growth of consumerism... like a cancer... in the last 50 years, is reasonable. 

Like, I can look at it and see what has happened and why. I follow the timeline, I see the themes, the mythologies, the players and understand. 

But the repercussions, the impact; despiritualization; an industrialized, de-natured food system; acute loneliness; deep, deep-seated fears; dis-eases like manic depression; eating disorders; drug addiction; malignant narcissism and so many adults AND children wanting to end their time here on Earth by their own hand... well the repercussions are hideous and profane and brain-bending. 

And then there’s The Local Peace Economy.


The Local Peace Economy prescribes making a pot of tea, once a month... take 90 minutes and talk with friends... neighbors... folks in your community. 

Have them bring a little something to share and just talk about the world you want to live in...explore some pathways... dream some pathways, get cracking and see the magic. 

Watch Patricia talk about this.

Watch the magic. 

As we sail back up the road to Los Angeles and the texts about the police surrounding the warehouse at Benito Juarez look more and more ominous, I know that our job is to focus on the magic of The Local Peace Economy. 

Knowing that it will illuminate pathways we never could have imagined and heal us along the way gives me the courage and the faith to keep going.

I have more gratitude for the lessons of my time with The Caravan than I will ever be able to express to them, so I will have to carry these lessons and continue scattering the seeds. 

Click here to find out how you can support Peace at the border of US and Mexico or Grow Local Peace Economy in your community.