ABOUT US

KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

Escalando Fronteras was conceived after extensive fieldwork in Monterrey, Mexico, by Rory and Javier, into the factors driving youth to join gangs and organized crime groups. Two of the initiators (Rory and Nicklas) are passionate climbers, and having just returned to Lund, Sweden from fieldwork abroad for their Masters’ programs (in Mexico and the Philippines respectively), they began to explore how sports, specifically climbing, could be used as a tool for positive change for youth in underdeveloped areas of the world.

Results from in-depth research in Mexico show that at-risk youth share many similar characteristics that propel them into gangs and organized crime. They live according to a system of perverse values (inherited from the perverse social and familial conditions in which they live), suffer extremely low levels of self-esteem and confidence, have high rates of school dropout, engage in risky behavior like drug and alcohol consumption as well as unprotected sex, harbor little plans for the future, and suffer from a feeling of having no control in their lives. Research on the positive effects of climbing demonstrate that the sport is a potent path to reversing and remedying all of the abovementioned negative factors as it encourages discipline, increased self-esteem and confidence, trust in others, positive values, humility, feelings of control, and mitigate the negative effects of depression and stress.

MEET THE TEAM

RORY SMITH

RORY SMITH

CO FOUNDER USA RORY@CLIMBINGBORDERS.ORG

It is easy to point fingers and blame others. It is hard but much more fulfilling to look deep inside in order to find a solution.

Rory co-founded Escalando Fronteras after graduating from the Lund University’s Master Program in International Development and Management (LUMID) and working within the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Mexico City, where he carried out in-depth fieldwork on youth gangs and organized crime; during that same time, Rory worked for the City of Gothenburg on issues related to refugee integration.

Rory is also a hyperrealist:

“That I am hyperreal is, in the end, my recognition of infinite possibility, endless learning, growth, and evolution – of the need to continuously pop my bubble so as to remember my tiny place on the cosmic map. As Tolstoy wrote, “We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”

NADIA VÁZQUEZ

NADIA VÁZQUEZ

CO FOUNDER MÉXICO NADIA@CLIMBINGBORDERS.ORG

The most dangerous human masses are those in whose veins have been injected with the poison of fear...fear of change.

Dr. Nadia Vázquez is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at ITESM University in Mexico. She has a degree in International Relations and a PhD in Social Sciences. She was pre-doctoral researcher at the University of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2014, she was coordinator of the NGO Kimbilio for street children in Congo, and in the same year co-founded Climbing Borders, as a non-profit organization that works with at-risk youth in Monterrey, Mexico to prevent crime and violence.

Dr. Vázquez has several publications, and her most recent article - Humanitarian Intervention Failed States, the case of MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo - was published in the academic journal Foro Internacional.

TIFFANY HENSLEY

TIFFANY HENSLEY

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TIFF@CLIMBINGBORDERS.ORG

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. - Da Vinci

An avid rock climber since 1998, Tiffany Hensley has competed internationally in speed, sport and bouldering since 2005, coached and instructed teams and competitive athletes since 2007, was a climbing brand Team Manager for several years, and taught her own clinics across the country. She now is the motivator of the Move Mountains Tour, and a coach, English Teacher, and loves to inspire the next generation to explore and protect the outdoors through adventures in the mountains.

Tiffany is an Ambassador with Canada's Climb'n'Conquer in Vancouver and Pebble Wrestler Collective in the USA. She first visited Escalando Fronteras as a mentor, in 2014 became Director of Communications.

RAMÓN NARVÁEZ

RAMÓN NARVÁEZ

VOLUNTEER RAMON@CLIMBINGBORDERS.ORG

Find a purpose in life through helping those who need it the most.

Ramón Narváez began rock climbing in 1996 at his local municipal park La Huasteca in Monterrey, México, where he wrote the first and only guidebook to rock climbing in 2010 and guided tours from his well-known climbing hostel ``Hostal AguAcAte``, which closed in 2012. Experienced in rope access and rigging since 2006, and certified in first aid through La Cruz Roja, Ramon became Mentor and Operations Director at Escalando Fronteras A.C. in 2014. Ramon is a member of the Sierra Madre Mountain Club, co-founder of climber hostel Refugio Huaste, and a proud dog owner and rescuer.

ALEJANDRO MEDINA

ALEJANDRO MEDINA

VOLUNTEER / CORRESPONDENT

When you leave your house you always have two options. You can take the path you always take, or you can take the path of the unknown. Unknown like the people that live around us and of whom we have forgotten. I prefer the second path.

JAVIER HERNANDEZ

JAVIER HERNANDEZ

CORRESPONDENT

We are all part of the solution.

SEBASTIÁN MANTEROLA

SEBASTIÁN MANTEROLA

WEB MASTER

I’d rather do something small today than plan for something big in the future.

ELINOR ASAY

ELINOR ASAY

International Development Consultant

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy,
I woke and I saw that life is all service.
I served and I saw that service is joy.

Elinor is the International Development Consultant for Climbing Borders and Move Mountains. She brings a strong commitment to youth development and education programs, with almost 10 years of climbing experience and 4 years of experience in international youth development programs.

Elinor graduated from Santa Clara University with a double major in History and Political Science. She also holds a Master’s degree in International Development from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where she focused on environmental and technology development in South Asia and West Africa. She has traveled extensively, especially in Nepal, where she worked to support girls' education and empowerment issues with the nonprofits Edge of Seven and The Small World.

Originally from the Washington DC area, Elinor went west in 2006 and has never looked back. She is an avid rock climber, backpacker, snowboarder, and cook, and enjoys exploring the trails near her home in Boulder, CO.

We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

Howard Zinn

Among individuals as among nations, the respect to other people's rights is peace

Benito Juarez

If you wish to move a mountain, you must start by lifting stones today.

African proverb