Voice of San Diego: 45 Years in, the Border Wall at Friendship Park Has Changed But the Fellowship Hasn’t

Alice Linsmeier speaks to Rigoberto Aguilar, through a section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Friendship Park during a binational Christmas celebration in honor of migrants on December 17, 2005, in Tijuana, Mexico. Aguilar, who was born in Mexico and brought undocumented to the U.S. when he was one year old, was recently deported after having lived 20 of his 21 years in Los Angeles. Linsmeier is a friend of his family who was accompanying other friends in support of Aguilar. About 150 people gathered on both sides of the border fence to simultaneously celebrate the posada, including tossing candies back and forth across the fence and passing champurrada, a traditional Mexican holiday drink, through holes in the fence. Photo - David Maung

Photo – David Maung

Border Patrol Agent and San Diego native, Francisco Alvarado is the border community liaison agent. He generally works on the U.S side of the border and handles meetings through the wall at the park.

“Our philosophy is based off increasing community engagement. This, along with our Border Community Liaison Program — which is based on community policing — is vital in making our communities safer, increasing transparency and leveraging the assistance of community against criminal organizations…The San Diego sector has historically been the model sector for the nation, and Friendship Circle is just another example of our efforts to message the U.S. Border Patrol mission to the public. Our sector has made huge strides working with the community and non-government organizations like the Border Angels, American Friends Service Committee, Alliance San Diego and the Friends of Friendship Park.”