Friendship Park / El Parque de la Amistad is a historic meeting place on the US/Mexico border, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
In the U.S., Friendship Park is located atop Monument Mesa, inside California’s Border Field State Park. In Mexico, El Parque de la Amistad sits beneath the famous lighthouse (“El Faro”) in Playas de Tijuana.
For generations people of good will from both nations have gathered here to visit with family and friends “across the line” but the park is in need of repairs and improvements.
Park supporters want to make the park a friendlier place. Although on the Tijuana side, the park is surrounded by a lively beach town, the US side is gated off, hard to get to, and carefully guarded.
Supporters want to install more seating in the park. At the moment, there is only one bench in the garden. They want to make the visiting space more comfortable and welcoming, especially for families with young children or elderly people.
Their hope is that this seating will change the culture of the park to be more inclusive and allow for more natural conversations.
If the seating is successfully funded, the second goal would be to set up Whisper Dishes. Dishes will be put on the outsides of the park; one across the border in Mexico, and one at the edge of Border Field State Park, outside of the fence that closes off Friendship Park.
The dishes will be available for families and friends to access during the times that the Friendship Park gates are closed. This will provide an alternative for working families who may be unable to come to the Park during the limited hours on the weekends.
Next, supporters want to install a telescope on the Tijuana observation deck, and keep a telescope on hand on the US side also. This idea is based off of a Border Encuentro event in which telescopes were made available on both sides of the border during hours that the US side of Friendship Park was not open.
Mexican sign language students on both sides of the border helped relay messages. This installation would be a visual compliment to the Whisper Dishes, which rely on auditory interaction.
Both projects aim to expand access and ease communication across the wall when Friendship Park is officially closed during weekdays.
Lastly, any leftover funds would go towards completely re-designing the park into a truly bi-national park, where there are no physical borders dissecting the park.
The campaign’s goal is $13,700 and ends on April 12.