Border Church / El Faro
Each Sunday afternoon, people of good will from San Diego and Tijuana gather for an open-table celebration of communion at Friendship Park, an historic meeting place on the US/Mexico border. We pray together, sing together, hear a brief word from the Scripture. To prepare our hearts for sharing communion, we confess our sins as individuals, as churches, as nations. We receive God's pardon, and we pass the peace of Christ to friends old and new on both sides of the line. Somehow, mysteriously, the border wall is transformed into the table of the Lord. Why do we call our Sunday gathering "El Faro"? Because on the Mexican side of the wall our friends gather in the shadow of Tijuana's famous landmark "lighthouse," a reminder that God's light shines indiscriminately on both sides of the border.
Friendship Park / El Parque de la Amistad
Friendship Park / El Parque de la Amistad is an historic meeting place on the US/MX border, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Located on Monument Mesa atop the spot where the border wall dives into the Pacific Ocean, Friendship Park can be accessed from the US through Border Field State Park or from Mexico through the beautiful Tijuana neighborhood of Playas de Tijuana. For generations people of good will from both nations have gathered here to visit with family and make friends “across the line.”
To learn more visit: www.friendshippark.org
Then: A stone monument was first put in place at this location by the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commission in 1851. In 1894 a new survey team, chartered by the International Boundary Commission placed a new monument atop the Mesa. Until recently there were little more than symbolic markers of the international boundary at this location: low hanging ropes, barbed wire, or nothing at all. As can be seen from the 1976 photo (top, looking east), Monument 258 stands as the physical and symbolic centerpiece of what was clearly designed to be an open, bi-national plaza.
Now: As can be seen in the 2013 photo (bottom, looking west), the security wall erected by the Department of Homeland Security from 2009-2011 encircles the monument several feet to its northern side, rendering it entirely inaccessible, and in fact barely visible, to people standing in the United States. The thick metal mesh covering the wall allows for people to touch fingertips and communicate with friends and loved ones.