Stories For Imperial Valley


The Terrace Park Cemetery in Holtville is actually two cemeteries in one. The one next to the road looks pretty typical: there’s a lush lawn, trees that attract birds, and gravestones with flowers. Tucked behind that is the pauper’s cemetery, where unclaimed and unidentified bodies are buried. Because Holtville is only sixteen miles from the Mexican border, most of the people buried here are undocumented immigrants who died trying to cross the border. (aired on The California Report and NPR’s Latino USA September 2011)


The town of Calipatria has put a lot of its hopes on new industries that have come to town, including a prison and geothermal plants which surround the area. Art Valdez has had to change what he stocks at the store to survive.


Ed Wells runs night shooting training for Imperial Valley College students hoping to become law enforcement officers. More students declare majors in Administration of Justice than in any other department in the college.


A top student in the law enforcement training program on why she doesn’t want to become a Border Patrol agent.

David Velasco

David Velasco is a student in the Administration of Justice program at Imperial Valley College, the most popular major at the college.

P1020067 (2)

Full Story

Calipatria sits in California’s southeast corner, in Imperial County. Many of the town’s residents rejoiced in April, 2011 when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a requirement that by 2020, the state get over 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. They hope the region’s natural resources will lead this hard-hit county into economic recovery, but some here worry that education and training lags behind. (versions aired on The California Report May 2011, and on NPR’s Latino USA Nov 2011)


There’s been some record-setting heat around California this summer — it’s more than just an annoyance for those who can’t take refuge because the outdoors is their office. In July, when temperatures in California soared above 100 for almost three weeks, three farm workers died. State regulators are investigating those deaths to see if employers violated heat illness prevention laws.