Mukta Mohan

Scenes From Friendship Park, The Only Place On The Border Where People Can Talk Face-To-Face

Photos from the only place on the U.S.-Mexico border where people can see their families and loved ones

The border between the United States and Mexico stretches almost 2,000 miles. When it reaches the westernmost end of the country, there’s an 18-foot-tall fence that continues into the Pacific Ocean.

It’s here at the beach, with San Diego, California on one side and Tijuana, Mexico on the other, that we reach Friendship Park — the only place along those 2,000 miles of border where people in the United States and people in Mexico can talk face-to-face.

On MTV's podcast “The Stakes,” I visited Friendship Park to share stories from this bi-national meeting place. A few names have been changed to protect their identities.

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    This is the closest you can get to the border fence from the United States. The other side is a bustling beach. People in Mexico walk right up to the fence and peer into the U.S.

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    A woman in Mexico takes a picture of her family in the United States. She flew into Tijuana from a small town in Jalisco, 2,300 kilometers away, to see them. Her family in the U.S. must stay behind the rope, but they can see each other more clearly at this portion of the fence. They hadn't seen each other in 12 years.

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    20-year-old Sheina Yaanez came to visit relatives who flew in from a small town in Jalisco, Mexico 2,300 kilometers away.

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    People spend hours connecting with family, friends, and loved ones at the park.

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    Volunteers have put up signs reminding people to bring their documents. Border patrol agents have started asking for documentation at a higher rate since Donald Trump was elected. This has spread through word of mouth and has led to a decline in visitors to Friendship Park.

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    A woman connects with family at the fence.

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    Markandeya Rsi, a yoga instructor in Tijuana who led bi-national yoga at Friendship Park in San Diego.

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    Chelsi Sparti, a bi-national yoga attendee.

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    Border Patrol agents watch the beach to make sure no one is swimming around the fence.

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    These tires are dragged across the dirt by border patrol agents to cover up tracks so they can spot new footprints coming out of the brush. Many migrants put cloth under their shoes so that they don't leave footprints.