There’s a place called Friendship Park between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. It is the only place along the Southern California border where families can legally reunite on both sides of the fence.
Friendship Park, or El Parque de la Amistad, is a historic meeting place on the US-Mexico border that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
On most days in San Diego, the park is lonely. But on weekends, it is overwhelmed with Americans hoping to see their relatives on the other side of the border. People come from hours away just to have a brief encounter with their families.
In Tijuana, during the weekdays is a different story. The beach has numerous people there enjoying themselves.
Most have nothing but good things to say about the opportunity the park provides on the weekends for those seeking to see their families on the other side.
“I have lived her for 20 years and I got involved in the border stuff in the early 2000s,” said Dan Watman, a member of the organization Friends of Friendship Park. “When families reunite with each other here, they can’t kiss each other or hug each other. They can only touch the pinky-tips of their fingers through a little square through the fence.”
Robert Vivar, also a member of Friends of Friendship Park, has used the park to see his grandkids since he’s been deported.
“My son has come here a couple of times and I’ve seen my granddaughters as well,” Vivar said. “One occasion, I was fortunate enough that the security gate was opened, and I was able to give my son and grandchildren a hug.”
Vivar said the park is a symbol of the bridge two countries can build instead of walls.
The park is open on weekends between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for families to see each other on both sides of the fence.