Christian Ramirez and Family

Christian Ramirez gathers with family through the San Diego/Tijuana border wall.
Christian Ramirez and his family have lived and worked in the San Diego/Tijuana border region for three generations. Christian's grandfather and grandmother came to San Diego as guest workers in the 1950s,

and Christian's father became a legal resident of the U.S. as a child and later moved his family to nearby San Ysidro, California.

Like hundreds of children of Mexican-American families, Christian spent weekends in Tijuana with extended family, playing with cousins and friends on both sides of the border. Christian became conscious of the internation border only when he became a citizen at age 10. While awaiting finalization of citizenship status, Christian couldn't legally leave San Diego, and Friendship Park became the only place where Christian could go to spend time with family in Mexico.

Christian Ramirez giving a lecture on the politics of border security to a group of students from Occidental College.
"That's when I realized just how real the border was — when I realized that we couldn't go back and forth anymore. It was pretty traumatic," Christian recalls.

Friendship Park continues to be a special gathering place for families legally seeking citizenship status but divided by the international border, but increased enforcement and construction of the border has eliminated public access to Friendship Park.

Christian now works with a coalition of over 40 San Diego community organizations calling for the restoration of Public Access to Friendship Park.