It has been greater than a 12 months for the reason that Worldwide Friendship Park stays closed on the U.S. facet, a scenario that has led to the discontent of the park’s founders and the unhappiness of those that used it to see their households divided by the border.
“Embracing or touching somebody in your loved ones that you have not been in a position to hug, who you do not know if you’re going to have the ability to hug and particularly in pandemic time, the scenario turns into tougher and extra crucial,” stated Yolanda Varona, who’s been deported since 2010. She feels sorry for these individuals who can’t see their family members by that fence as she was allowed to hug her granddaughter.
“What represented the park to me was hope, it was as if I had been injected with super vitality,” Yolanda Varona recalled.
This park since its opening in August 1971, has witnessed hugs, tears, demonstrations, weddings and even poetry on its behalf. However right this moment, it seems to be empty in contrast to the state park in San Ysidro, the place you may see households transiting and having fun with the view on the seashore.
“What may be very clear is that this place isn’t a precedence for them proper now and it’s all the time the wrestle as a result of we really feel that it should be a precedence and that it should be a part of safety,” stated Daniel Watman, founding father of The Mates of Friendship Park.
They usually declare to today to obtain calls from households who come from afar in the US to see their family from the wall and encounter a closed park.
“A tragedy as a result of they arrive right here, we now have footage of individuals coming right here and there they’re greeting their family and so they have to speak on the telephone, which they could have carried out from dwelling,” Watman added.
Though this Friday, volunteers try to carry Tijuana’s a part of the binational park to life, on the U.S. facet it seems to be uncared for.
“It is one thing for the neighborhood and on the opposite facet it is all lifeless, the crops are lifeless and so they’re not profiting from it appropriately,” stated Jorge Aguilar, a volunteer and citizen in El Monte, California, he and a bunch of individuals go not less than thrice per week to take care of the park on the Tijuana facet.
The U.S. Border Patrol despatched Telemundo 20 the next assertion:
“We regularly monitor the rise in immigration and the variety of brokers we now have accessible. Sadly, in the intervening time we can’t be capable to open friendship park till we now have sufficient workers accessible to make sure that after we open it the entire viewers is secure.”
The park is closed till additional discover on the U.S. facet. Earlier than the pandemic, it operated on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Prior to now, CBP would conduct an occasion referred to as “Opening the Door for Hope,” which allowed some households to reunite for 3 minutes once they opened the gate separating the U.S. Mexico Border. The program was shut down in 2018.