We started the morning off with a delicious breakfast at GaryMar of pancakes, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and fruit salad. As per tradition, we took a group photo in front of the mural before saying goodbye and thank you to Gary and Mar, our hosts and the owners of the home we stayed in.
We went down to Friendship Park, a section of the border where separated families can have a chance to visit each other. There were many families communicating through the mesh border, especially adults to their young children. We were able to help maintain the wall by painting over graffiti, repainting the wall, and repairing and weeding in the gardens. Afterwards, we had the chance to explore the boardwalk in the area, gaining insight into what a community so close to the border is like. We attended a binational and bilingual church service created to help bring the divided community together. While eating lunch at a local pizzeria, we had a chance to overlap with another Crossing Borders group from Los Angeles and Crystal, our tour guide, host, and daughter to Gary and Mar.
In the afternoon, we experienced immigrating to the United States on foot. We walked half a kilometer to the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry. There we met up with Sara, another host in San Diego.
After crossing back into San Diego, we visited Chicano Park, a small community park in Barrio Logan featuring murals made by latino artists. It was a very beautiful and colorful homage to latino myths and history. In a gazebo in the center, a mural on the ceiling featured a prophecy of the Aztecs, showing how they found their promised land. The prophecy stated that an eagle eating a serpent on a cactus would be on the land they would soon make to be their capital, Mexico City. Chicano Park helps keep the latino culture alive by hosting folk dances and events and depicting their history. One mural depicted Emiliano Zapata, a leading figure of the Mexican Revolution, and a quote stated by him that read:
“I would rather die standing than live on my knees.”
We then headed to our Airbnb in San Diego, a giant luxurious fortress (source: Mercedes) made for large groups. We helped to make a delicious dinner with a PTA mother named Berenice from the school Mar and Crystal worked at and her daughter. We did team bonding by playing games and prepared for our departure the next day.
We wanted to thank everyone who helped us on this trip! Gary, Mar, and Crystal were wonderful hosts that immersed us in Mexican culture but still made us feel at home. We learned so much from them and gained many new perspectives. We’d also like to thank Sara for making our last night so memorable!
We’d also like to give a special thanks to Ms. Dillon and Ms. Lear for making this trip happen and making sure we all had an enjoyable and fascinating experience!
Mercedes (creator), Ashley (creator), and Jordan (creator)