The wall, the seagull, and the rainbow

On Christmas Day, I went with some of my volunteer colleagues to see the infamous Tijuana beach border wall. (Well, technically it’s a fence, but for all practical purposes it’s a wall.) While there, I took the picture below, in which you can see a seagull, a Border Patrol truck on the US side, and a rainbow that ends more or less above the place where the seagull is standing. It struck me later that this picture is symbolic in so many ways of the situation we’re facing at the US-Mexico border, and the situation we face in general as human beings.

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Merry Christmas from Tijuana!

Tonight is what they call “Nochebuena” in Mexico, Christmas Eve. For most people, it’s the “big” celebration, bigger than Christmas Day itself. Tonight we’ll be going to Mass (this is a Catholic organization I’m working for, after all), eating the traditional late dinner, and opening our “secret Santa” presents at midnight.

Below is a picture from the Desayunador this morning. It was a very festive breakfast! I wish all of you and yours Feliz Navidad, a very Merry Christmas!

Busy in Tijuana

We’ve been very busy here—so busy that it’s difficult to find time to post a blog. We’re working at the Desayunador every day (except today, Sunday), and organizing Posadas, which are traditional Mexican religious processionals centered around the drama of Joseph and Mary finding no room at the inn (a poignant metaphor for our times). Later today, we’re going to visit El Barretal, the current shelter for the migrant caravan in Tijuana.

It has been an amazing experience so far. I have lots of pictures that I’ll share later, but for now I’ll leave you with a nice picture of our volunteer team. Onward!

How you can help the migrant caravan

Now that I’m home from a wonderful family Thanksgiving, I can turn my attention again to the blog. 🙂

As you know, I’ve been helping the migrant caravan. In fact, I’ll be going to Tijuana soon to rejoin them; I’ll provide more details when I get them. In the meantime, many people have asked me how they can help. Click on the link to this article from YES! magazine. It gives a good summary of the situation (updated now and then) and provides a good list at the end of ways you can help.

There’s also an interactive map of the route. I’ve been to locations “F” and “R” on the map, and will soon be on my way to “X.”

A day with the migrant caravan in Mexico City

I’m now back in Xalapa after spending a day in Mexico City with the migrant caravan that has been so much in the news recently, and that Patricia and I had worked with at the Guatemala border in October. I would have stayed longer, but the caravan moved northward the next day. That’s the thing about caravans—by definition, they move! 🙂 My experience in Mexico City, just as at the Guatemala border, was an unforgettable experience of solidarity, connection, and love for my brothers and sisters.

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Back with the caravan…now in Mexico City

I’m back with the caravan (a large segment of it, at any rate), which is now lodged at a stadium in Mexico City that has been transformed into a massive migrant shelter. I haven’t started yet, but will likely be there tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted!

“My cup overflows with love”

We have all been saddened by the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, in which eleven people were killed. I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to everyone impacted by this horrific event.

In its wake, I’m inspired by the words of Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers (the older man pictured below), who was conducting the morning service when the shooting occurred. Having seen members of his congregation gunned down before his very eyes, it would have been easy for him to respond with words of anger and vengeance. Instead, at an interfaith vigil the day after the shooting, he invoked the twenty-third psalm (“You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows”) and said this:

“My texts, my emails, my Facebook overflow with love from strangers, people I’ve never met, people who are not from the United States, but from all over the word, Jewish, Christians, Muslims, all with the same message: ‘We are here for you.’”

“My cup overflows with love. That’s how you defeat hate.”

Amen, my brother. God bless you and the Tree of Life congregation, and may all of our cups overflow with love.