Things That Matter

The San Diego-Tijuana Border Was The Setting Of An Emotional, Bi-National Easter Celebration

Dozens of people separated by deportations finally had a chance to reconnect as they celebrated Easter at the U.S.-Mexico border. Their meeting was organized by El Faro: The Border Church, a church that holds services at the border every Sunday for Mexican and U.S. nationals, and Caravan Against Fear, a traveling immigration advocacy group. They teamed up to give several families a chance to reconnect at International Friendship Park in San Diego, Calif.

Families in the U.S. and Mexico gathered at the border wall in San Diego, Calif. to celebrate Easter and reconnect after years of separation.

Fox 5 KSWB
CREDIT: Fox 5 KSWB

Friend of the Border Church Father Dermot Rodgers told FOX 5 KSWB why they held the service at the border wall separating San Diego, Calif. and Tijuana, Mexico: “To celebrate the promise that this day brings to Christians and that’s hope and renewal and promise.” Rodgers added, “Our being here, to bring families together, is to bear witness on this side of the border that we expect and hope that one day what seemed like utter darkness and deportation will become a resurrected story of family reunification.”

Families at the wall gathered to worship together and bring attention to the issues facing immigrants in the U.S.

CBS 8 KFMB
CREDIT: CBS 8 KFMB

According to a video by CBS 8 KFMB, the gathering was in large part a symbolic movement by the organizations El Far: The Border Church and Caravan Against Fear to show that they are all one family, the human family. Attendees on both sides of the border worshipped in unison while chanting and bringing attention to what the current immigration system looks like with real people.

“We don’t need any more militarization of the border,” Caravan Against Fear spokesperson Alejandra Valles told FOX 5 KSWB.

CBS 8 KFMB
CREDIT: CBS 8 KFMB

“We don’t need anymore walls. We already have enough of that. What we need is to start respecting one another as human beings and to start understanding and figuring out how we deal with some of the issues that are happening in Syria, in Mexico, in Haiti, in Brazil, across the world,” Valles told FOX 5 KSWB. “What we are are human beings and we need to start treating each other as such, as neighbors.”

Emotions ran high as siblings reunited with siblings and children reunited with parents after years of separation.

Fox 5 KSWB
CREDIT: Fox 5 KSWB

And many traveled to San Diego or Tijuana for a chance to touch fingers with loved ones they have been separated from for so long.

Fox 5 KSWB
CREDIT: Fox 5 KSWB

Families were able to spend a few hours talking and touching fingers through the border fence that has steadily grown since the park was first created. At first there was just a chain link fence the marked the international border. It was from 2009 to 2011 that more fences were added and the access to the border fence was severely restricted making moments to reconnect that much more impactful and important.

Watch the full news story here.


READ: This Immigration Rights Group Gave 6 Families The Chance To Cross The Border For A 3-Minute Visit

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Mexico Closes Border With Arizona To Keep Americans Out Following COVID-19 Outbreak

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Mexico Closes Border With Arizona To Keep Americans Out Following COVID-19 Outbreak

John Moore / Getty Images

Mexico is taking measures to protect its citizens from the rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Parts of the Mexico-U.S. border was closed in Arizona by Mexican authorities in response to the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19.

It started when the state of Sonora toughened border restrictions as Arizona’s COVID-19 number skyrocketed.

Arizona is facing one of the toughest COVID-19 surges in the country. Numbers are spiking across the U.S. following the rapid, and in some states sudden, reopenings. Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona are all reporting numbers that have health experts concerned about the outlook of the U.S.’s ability to control the virus.

“We are all going to be on alert at this time to prevent them from coming, whether they are Mexicans living in the U.S., Americans or those who want to come to spend the weekend and put a greater burden on us regarding COVID,” Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich told the Arizona Daily Star.

Some Mexican citizens took it upon themselves to block Americans from entering their country.

Mexican residents along the Arizona border created makeshift blockades to keep Americans from flooding popular beach destinations. Mexican citizens used their cars and other objects to block Americans as the state governments backed their actions.

“We invite US tourists not to visit Mexico,” Sonoyta’s mayor, José Ramos Arzate, said in a statement. “We agreed on this to safeguard the health of our community in the face of an accelerated rate of Covid-19 contagion in the neighboring state of Arizona.”

Sonoyta is a U.S.-Mexico border town with roads that lead to Puerto Peñasco, a beach town on the Sea of Cortés. Mexicans are fighting to protect their own health as the U.S. continues to let the COVID-19 crisis get worse.

The United States has been setting daily records as COVID-19 infections continue to spread out of control. Health experts are warning that the U.S. is still in the first wave of the virus since the first wave never ended. The lack of containment has led to countries banning American tourists because the virus is still not under control.

There are things we can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Health experts suggest wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and being diligent about hygiene to slow the spread of the virus. Stay safe and stay healthy.

READ: Gay Man Dubbed Karen For Saying He Wants Everyone To Catch COVID In IG Video

San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

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San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

Update: Amber Lynn Gilles is Internet famous for trying to shame a Starbucks barista on Facebook for telling her to wear a mask. Now she is becoming Internet famous for claims she is the victim and deserves half of the money raised on GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe page for Lenin Gutierrez is now over $100,000 and Gilles claims she deserves half.

Credit: GoFundMe

Gutierrez is now $100,000 richer after his friend Matt Cowan set up the GoFundMe to make the bad experience better. The original goal for the GoFundMe page was $1,000 but the amount keeps on growing as people share the love with Gutierrez.

According to the GoFundMe, Cowan set up for Gutierrez to meet with a financial advisor to help him invest the money. Gutierrez has said that he wants to use the money to pursue his dream of being a dancer. Even more, the young mans shared in a video that he wants to use the money to help others chase their dreams in dance as well.

“We crossed the $100,000 mark,” reads the GoFundMe page. “A huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Lenin is overjoyed and at a loss of words at the kindness that has been shown to him by everyone worldwide.”

After the fundraiser made a lot of money, Gilles has decided to sue for half of the money she feels she deserves. However, she needs people to send her money so she can hire an attorney to take on the case. The fundraiser was started on July 2, 2020, and has raised $460 of the $5,000 goal in two weeks.

“I have been attacked by liberals, the organizations who form many Facebook hate groups, I am silenced on media platforms and censored,” Gilles claims on her GoFundMe page. “I have been slandered and defamed on a GoFundMe raiser, he used my photo and personal information without my permission.”

Gilles claims that she has a medical condition and showed a note from a chiropractor saying she has a breathing condition.

Original: Karens are everywhere and one Starbuck barista in San Diego encountered one in the wild without a face mask. Lenin Gutierrez asked a customer if she had a mask when he saw her without one. She said no and refused to put on one. She then went to social media to call him out.

A white woman in San Diego was very upset that a Starbucks barista told her to wear a mask.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

Face masks have become a very controversial issue. The most important tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has become a politicized issue. Conservatives have denounced the facial coverings claiming they infringe on their rights and are unconstitutional. A Vinn diagram of people protesting the lockdown and not wanting to wear masks would show a lot of overlap.

She included a photo of Lenin Gutierrez, the man who stood up to her.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a mandate ordering al Californians to wear facial coverings when they are in public. Private businesses, like Starbucks, are allowed to refuse service to anyone that employees deem necessary. During a pandemic that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and infected more than 2.6 million, facial coverings are crucial.

Gutierrez is the one coming out ahead when a GoFundMe was set up to show him support.

Credit: GoFundMe

So far, more than $49,000 have been raised to help Gutierrez. The money is being donated by people who are thanking him for stand up to the woman who thinks she is too good to wear a mask. If you want to donate, you can click here.

Gutierrez took to Facebook to thank everyone who donated to him.

I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story. Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.

Posted by Lenin Gutierrez on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The barista was so moved by the donations. The young man shared that he was working at Starbucks to make the money to pursue his dreams of dancing. According to his Facebook, he likes Folklorico, the native dance of Mexico. There is no doubt that $49,000 will definitely help him pursuing is dreams of diving deeper into dancing.

Don’t forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has not slowed down in the U.S. Instead, the number of infections continues to rise in the U.S. with more than 40,000 falling ill on Thursday. Facial coverings are the best tool we have to slow the spread. Be smart. Be safe. Listen to the scientists. We can make it through this together.

READ: People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands