SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Every weekend from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., people from both Mexico and the U.S. would travel long distances to meet at that gate at Friendship Park along the international border with Mexico
Located within the larger Border Field State Park of California, Border Patrol agents would allow and monitor access so folks from north of the border could hold hands, talk and mingle with friends and family from the other side of the border.
All this with the border barrier between them.
But the pandemic put a halt to this tradition that started in 2012.
A group called Friends of Friendship Park has been pushing for the Border Patrol to reopen this popular gathering spot now that the state has reopened Border Field State Park and the pandemic is winding down.
“This site provided a place for families separated by immigration status,” said Daniel Watman, member of Friends of Friendship Park. “Now these things can’t happen until the Border Patrol allows it to happen however difficult it is for them, let them do it, it should be a priority.”
Watman stated the Border Patrol has not been open to it.
“We had a meeting with San Diego Border Patrol and they told us park was closed until further notice.” he said.
The Border Patrol told Border Report that it will consider reopening this area only when it has enough personnel to guarantee the safety of all visitors.
Watman wants to see this happen sooner rather than later. He says there is a big event planned for the area in July and then in August, the 50th anniversary celebration of Border Field State Park’s opening.
“The border needs cross-border friendship, more family reunions. … The border needs collaboration to preserve our shared environment,” said Watman.
Watman encourages the public to visit the group’s website, friendshippark.org, which has a lot of valuable information about the area and for those who would like to visit some day.