Around 8:30, we drove rental cars 30 minutes to the Border Wall, near Chula Vista and Tijuana. Before reaching the Border State Park, we read an article titled “Desecration” by Paulina Velasco. It detailed issues surrounding the history of Friendship Park, its Covid-19 closure, and its recent destruction by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Valasco included opinions from Robert Vivar, who we had the opportunity to speak with on Thursday, and Daniel Watman, who we spoke with soon after. It provided us with greater understanding of the opportunities Friendship Park created for separated families to maintain their relationships, but also the loss of that opportunity that has come with the Park’s closure.
We met Alex and Marie Clare at the Border Wall, near Friendship Garden. Alex spoke about the history of legislation around the Wall, particularly that enacted under the Clinton, Obama, and Trump Administrations. We were able to speak with Dan Watman through FaceTime, as he stood on the Mexican side of the Border Wall and Friendship Garden. He discussed his own work as the Coordinator of the Friends of Friendship Park, the difficulties he had encountered with CBP, and his hopes for the future of the Park. After Dan had answered questions, and we had thanked him for speaking with us, we walked to the beach. There, we could see both the end of the Wall, where it led into the Pacific, and people on the Mexican side of the Wall enjoying the beach. In stark contrast, the American beach was near empty. As we spoke, Alex shared his predictions for the future of the Wall, Border Control, and immigration.
We paused the discussion, and drove to Taco El Gordo, famous for having the best San Diego tacos. After making our way back to the Hostel, and time exploring the Gaslamp Area, we continued our conversation around ethical leadership. We added our own thoughts to the list of the crucial qualities of an ethical leader including, but not limited to, the importance of selflessness, communication, and transparency.
~Josephine and Evan