US authorities close Friendship Park, San Diego
San Diego – November 19, 2018
US authorities decided to close down Friendship Park in San Diego over the weekend after a group of young people threatened to cross the border illegally several days ago.
The green bi-national space, known as Friendship Park in San Diego, California, situated on the Pacific coast, has for years been a place where those living apart in the U.S. and Mexico can meet, albeit through a fence several meters high.
However, US authorities decided to close it down during the weekend after a group of people attempted entering the country illegally via the ocean a few days ago, though in the end they chose to turn back to Mexico.
"It doesn’t seem like a big problem, they just want to hear your message. They could swim across if they wanted to," said Phillip Herczech, a San Diego resident who currently lives in Europe and came to the park to express his support for those who wait on the other side in anticipation of a meeting.
While many people could be seen on the Mexican side of the fence today, on the American side there are but a few border agents and some journalists.
In general, immigrants who live in San Diego, aware of the closure, have largely given up on going to the park.
However, there were some families that claimed not to know about the situation and went to the park on Sunday in hopes of seeing their loved ones.
"I didn't know it was closed, if not, I do not come to see them," said Cruz Gutiérrez Corona, an immigrant of Mexican origin living in the US for thirteen years.
Of course, technology allows people, such as Gutiérrez Corona, who had to ask for a day off of work to try to see his son, to coordinate with one another, but still, no technology can replace the joy of a personal meeting, live communication, hugs, and an exchange of views. Now Gutiérrez Corona can see his son only through the fence, from several meters away.