Trip Information

All water runs depart from Humane Borders headquarters, located at 243 W. 33rd Street. (For departure & trip times, see individual trip descriptions below). You will want to meet your driver(s) off of 9th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. You can park your car on the east side of the street adjacent to the truck yard. (pictured below)

While every migrant encounter is different, here are some guidelines for volunteers:


General Info:

For all trips, it's a good idea to dress in layers -- especially for longer trips -- and wear sun-protective clothing that might include light pants, light long-sleeved shirts, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, hiking boots or sturdy tennis shoes. No shorts or sandals for safety precautions. Bring a snack for the Monday run, and something more substantial on other runs. Have plenty of water. If you are allergic to bees, don’t forget to bring your EpiPen!!


Note: Should you suddenly need to cancel your trip within 24 hours of your trip going out, CONTACT YOUR DRIVER. (This info will be provided you). FYI: During Monsoon months and other times of the year, Tucson and the surrounding area often receive considerable amounts of rain. These unforeseen events may necessitate canceling water runs when desert dirt roads turn to bog and become impossible to navigate. In the event that trips are canceled due to rainy conditions, Operations Manager Joel Smith will notify you via text the night before or the morning of the trip.

Trip Descriptions:

Arivaca: First Sunday of the Month. Departs at 6:00 a.m.

Drivers: Guillermo Jones & Steve Saltonstall

The Arivaca water run services eight water stations and includes some of the most beautiful and remote country in the Arizona borderlands. This is the most geographically diverse of our water runs, starting on I.19 South to Green Valley, through the tiny town of Amado, southwest on Arivaca road, up to the northern terminus of Route 286, and ends on Route 86 back to Tucson. We service water stations located in a pecan grove, on a panoramic hillside, along wash-studded ranchlands, and in some sites with the Los Guijas mountains and the sacred Baboquivari mountain in view. As with our other water runs, the beauty of Arivaca is both misleading and ironic, because this land is also a killing field. The trip generally returns between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Avra Valley: Last Thursday of the Month. Departs at 7:00 a.m.

Driver: Phil Hunger, Tracey Ristow, Kirk Astroth

Humane Borders services the Avra Valley water station run once a month, usually the last Thursday of the month. The run covers five different water stations, four of which are situated in flat but desolate areas in Avra Valley and Tucson city limits. The last water station on the run, named after Ed McCullough, is located on Pima County land and borders on Ironwood National Monument. The run generally lasts about four hours.

Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge (BANWR): Every Friday. Departs 6:00 a.m.

Drivers: John and Diane Hoelter, Philip Hunger, Tracey Ristow

This weekly Friday trip services seven water stations up and down highway 286, from Three Points to just short of the border town of Sasabe. This is grassland/ranchland with some striking views of the Baboquivari mountain range to the west.  

Coleman: Third Saturday of the Month. Departs at 6:00 a.m.

Drivers: John Heid & Cynthia Hunter

The Coleman run happens every third Saturday, servicing four different water stations including remote Cowtown, Poplar Grove, Guadalupe, and Duvall North. The stations are situated in the Three Points area located within a 30-mile radius of the junction of Hwy 86 and Hwy 286. Going and coming, the run typically takes about five hours to complete.

Ironwood National Monument: Every Tuesday from May 1 to September 30th. Departs at 6:00 a.m.

Drivers: John and Diane Hoelter, Rebecca Fowler

The trip to Ironwood takes water to three far-flung water stations. The monument is situated in beautiful, rugged, but for crossing migrants, unforgiving desolate mountain/desert landscape. The monument is dotted with hundred-year old saguaros and ironwood trees. You can expect to be back at HB headquarters by 1:00 p.m.

Sasabe, Sonora, Mexico: Every Monday. Departs 7:00 a.m.

Drivers: John and Diane Hoelter, Philip Hunger, and Doug Ruopp

Sasabe water runs take place on Fridays, departing at 7:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted. The trip to Sasabe is a relatively short affair: the trip will take about 4 hours to complete as we simply drop 300 gallons of water on the other side of the international boundary with Mexico, just behind the Mexican Border Checkpoint. We leave the water with Grupos Beta, the humanitarian arm of the Mexican government. Grupos Beta then distributes the water at different migrant staging sites in the area. You can expect to be back at Humane Borders headquarters by 11:00 a.m.