Spring has made our pilgrimage to Friendship Park prettier, even though the road is still flooded
Friendship Park has opened my eyes to the sad reality that many Latino families across the country face by being separated from their family. I have befriended some of the people visiting Friendship Park and I have heard their stories. They have also shared their concerns and honest emotions. They keep asking for their picture together, but they want their relatives to be seen clearly even though they are behind the fence, so I am trying to help with a little magic.I have already talked about this concern before, but it is something that constantly plagues me during my visits to the Park… As I watch the little kids and interact with them, I keep wondering how this situation and ritual is going to affect their lives: are they going to be familiarized with seeing their relatives through the Fence? Are they going to work in order to better the circumstances that their parents are living? Are they going to adapt, not be fazed by it, and do nothing? Are they going to respond positively to all the sacrifices and efforts made by their parents in order to for them to grow up with more opportunities?
Ecumenical service on both sides of the fence continues to be an important event on Sundays, also lawyers keep listening to the needs of the migrants and deportees, trying to help as much as they can.
Weekend after weekend we hear a new story, a number of years being separated, the different places they are coming from the US: Texas, Atlanta, Chicago, Arizona and mainly California; different towns they are traveling from Mexico, and I still can’t help but to be affected by each individual story and always feel tears fill my eyes. It is said that after living for a while with a situation, you get used to your feelings, that you become immune to sensation and your skin becomes thicker in order to feel less… I do not think that will ever happen with me. There was a situation two weekends ago that made me think about this… An intrigued couple visited the Park; they knew the border existed, but did not know about this Park or anything about it. She was from the US and he was from Colombia. They are world travelers. During their visit at the Park, they had the opportunity to see some of the families and talk to them. Once they left, he wrote to me telling me that it was one of the saddest places he has ever visited in the world.