Written by Linda Feldman, Director, Latino-Jewish Coalition, Jewish Federation San Diego County
All too often we allow ourselves to "know" based on misinformation; this is especially true of Tijuana. On October 27, 2015, Federation, and the Latino Jewish Coalition in partnership with the US-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership hosted a trip to Tijuana. This trip provided opportunities for participants to experience first-hand the contributions of community leaders who are making a difference- from cutting edge ophthalmological research, to mobile healthcare promoting the social development and wellbeing of people in rural communities, to positive engagement of young people to transform lives.
The cohort held conversations with three Consul Generals from the bi-national region to inform our understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead and offered thoughts about what we can do to ensure a strong Border region on a social, cultural and global level.
Our visit included stops at:
Fundacion Codet: Where we met Dr. Arturo Chayet, a pioneer in both cataract and IOL surgery and investigations.
Fronteras Unidas Pro Salud: A community clinic partnership between Mexfam and Planned Parenthood.
World Trade Center: To meet with Consul General Will Ostick (US Consulate in Tijuana), Consul General Remedios Gomez Arnau (Mexican Consulate, San Diego) and Consul Gregorio Goldstein (Honorary Consul of Israel in Baja CA).
Club de Ninos y Ninas de Mexico, A.C.: The first Boys and Girls Club in Mexico.
And a visit to the border fence on the Mexican side made it clear the impact of separated families. The wall on the Mexican side is brightly painted and includes many writings, including the heartbreaking, "Here is where dreams end."
Check back for information about our next trip on January 8, for a breakfast conversation with Senator Block and Assembly member Medina to discuss the role and value of the Latino and Jewish Caucuses in Sacramento.