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Located inside Border Field State Park at the most southwestern point in the United States, Friendship Park is a place for people to meet and talk with loved ones through the international border fence.
The park has changed dramatically since it first opened 45 years ago, but the sense of fellowship hasn’t.
For decades, there was just barbed wire, then a small fence separating the U.S. and Mexico.
But in 2009, the Secure Fence Act passed. A large fence and other security infrastructure went up and Friendship Park was shut down.
An activist group called Friends of Friendship Park pushed hard to reopen the park. Over the years, they slowly gained back access. And despite the unfriendly atmosphere, they’ve kept the spirit of unity alive at Friendship Park by building binational gardens, holding yoga classes, kite-flying festivals and other events simultaneously on both sides of the border.
Now Friends of Friendship Park is calling on U.S Customs and Border Protection to revamp the park again so friends and family can hug and touch one another.
On this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC San Diego 7’s Monica Dean and I discuss the ongoing flux at Friendship Park.