Written by: Sister
Elaine Betoncourt, CSJ
morning we awoke to the news that the bus had a flat tire. Fortunately, we were
staying at the University of San Diego, and were able to borrow two vans to get
us to Friendship Park on time. Since the road to the park was narrow and
somewhat rocky in spots we realized that the flat tire was a bit of a blessing.
State Park, our contact, Dan Watman from the Coalition of Friends of Friendship
Park, gave us the history of the building of the secondary wall 120 feet away
from the primary wall between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego. He explained that
about 30 environmental laws were disregarded as Homeland Security ordered the
building of the second wall that extends into the Pacific Ocean. The buffer
zone prevents people from visiting with each other through the wall.
ocean between the walls is Friendship Park where gates on both sides get opened
on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. allowing people from both
nations to visit with each other. They have created an International Garden in
Friendship Park with plants from the U.S. and Mexico as a symbol of hope and
relationship, and every Sunday a priest comes to celebrate Mass with all who
gather. Hearing of the compassionate work of the American Friends Service and
Border Angels here at the Tijuana border was very inspiring.
Morones, founder of Border Angels, stirred our hearts with his mention of the six-month
anniversary of the Newtown, CT shootings, juxtaposing the reality of the
continuing deaths at the border as people try to cross over seeking a chance
for a better life in the U.S. How horrifying both realities are!