Ministry with México is an on-campus organization that offers students multiple opportunities to engage in cross-cultural experiences. In particular, Ministry with México’s Border Pilgrimage explores the Tijuana-San Diego border from both sides, witnesses firsthand contrast between the US Border Patrol and stories from migrants, and pushes students to engage in difficult conversations. The following pictures were taken at Friendship Park on the Tijuana side of the border.
At Friendship Park, you will find a colorful, hopeful, and beautiful painted mural across the Tijuana side of the border. Amidst difficulties regarding deportation and immigration laws, Friendship Park stands as a place where residents of both countries can meet in person. The bright border wall stands as a symbol of hope for many, as it is covered in sayings of ambition, hope, determination, and love. “La paz comienza con una sonrisa,” translates to “peace starts with a smile.”
To learn more about the strong impact Ministry with México has had on some students, I interviewed freshman Rachel Janis. After participating in a Border Pilgrimage, Rachel states, “The Border Pilgrimage helped me gain perspective and insight from both sides of a very controversial issue by providing faces and stories to a topic that is often so depersonalized.” Dealing with such a controversial issue and contributing to difficult discussions allowed Rachel to learn more and understand the true reality behind the subject matter.
In an interview with freshman Anna Pickerign, she shared her thoughts about her first Border Pilgrimage with Point Loma Nazarene University. She states, “It was really amazing to see how everyone deals with the same emotions no matter what side of the issue they are on. Everyone has hopes, fears, and feels misunderstood.” The perspectives that students are exposed to while on the trip, go beyond any surface-level discussion or story that is shown in the media. Students have the opportunity to listen to firsthand migrant experiences of being deported or separated by immigration laws.
By: Sierra Huerta