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Border Church: Protecting Pinkie Kisses

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The Border Church, or La Iglesia Fronteriza, is not a brick-and-mortar church. In fact, the only wall here at this weekly outdoor service is the one separating the United States from Mexico. Border Church is an outdoor church that meets every Sunday on both sides of the international border fence between San Diego and Tijuana. The weekly church service is a religious celebration, but it also helps ensure that Border Patrol will continue to allow people to use this place as a meeting point.

This spot, where the border wall runs into the Pacific Ocean, is where families whose immigration status doesn’t allow them to travel between the two countries can meet each other through the fence. This is the only place along the Southern California border where people can legally walk right up to the fence and touch people on the other side - just barely by poking their little fingers through holes in a steel mesh barrier, but still, it’s a touch.

Today, a story about Border Church and the people who power it.

Only here can you find a weekly church service that reaches people standing on both sides of the border fence. It’s a church that works to help protect access for families who want to meet through the wall.

Show transcript

This is Border Church.

Binational Church Full Service Clip 1 (18:03 - 19:59)
John: any announcements on the Mexican side, uh, before we, uh, whether it be student time to leave here in the United States. Yes. John, thank you very much. We just want to welcome all of our friends that are joining us here today and we want to especially welcome Maria Garcia who is here visiting her daughter, her granddaughter and her granddaughters. She's pointing for 'em once a meeting with her granddaughter and her granddaughters. she hasn't seen her family in 30 years…….fade out and under

It’s not a brick-and-mortar church. In fact, the only wall here at this weekly outdoor service is the one separating the United States from Mexico. This is an outdoor church that meets every Sunday on both sides of the international border fence between San Diego and Tijuana.

Robert Vivar Clip 2 (08:13 - 8:53)
Robert: And on the wall right now, right at the center of the wall, we have a table where over communion is going to be set up and on both sides of the wall, on the Mexico side, we have people that are visiting their friends, their relatives from the U.S. side.

On the Mexican side of the border fence, it’s a party.

A thick crowd of people gather here every Sunday in Playas de Tijuana to enjoy food, music and a church service that extends across the wall to the handful of people who gather on the U.S. side.

The Mexican congregants are always a mix of church volunteers and playas residents.

And then there are the folks the church is proudest to serve: Homeless migrants stuck in Tijuana and looking for help, plus deportees and other people who come here to meet family members they’ve been separated from because of immigration issues.

This is the only place along the southern california border where people can legally walk right up to the actual fence and touch - just barely, but still.

Robert Vivar Clip 3 (08:13 - 8:53)
……... You're able to do a pinky kiss. And, you know, you might say, what's a pinky kiss while the pinky kiss was designed here in playas, because that's all that you can reach across that border wall to touch your relatives from the u s side. Just the fingertips. That's a pinky kiss that we do.

I’m Alan Lilienthal, and you’re listening to Only Here, a KPBS podcast about the place where San Diego and Tijuana meet.

Today, a story about Border Church - La Iglesia Fronteriza - and the people who power it.

Only here can you find a weekly church service that reaches people standing on both sides of the border fence. It’s a church that works to help protect access for families who want to meet through the wall.

More after the break.

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John Fanestil (fan-uh-still) is standing in a dirt parking lot just north of the U.S.-Mexico border fence, his big straw hat shading him from the bright mid-morning sun.

john border church us side NEW clip 4 (09:46 - 10:26)
….. we're at the perimeter of the state park and we have about a mile and a half hike to get into the venue, the meeting place on the border that locals called Friendship Park.

The methodist pastor is waiting for a bus filled with a group of retired clergy from different parts of Southern California. The retirees want to see Border Church for themselves.

Because it’s hard for people who’ve never seen the border fence to imagine what a church service held right up against the wall is like.

The fence cuts across the land before it literally dives then disappears into the Pacific Ocean.

The surreal-looking scene serves as the dramatic backdrop to Border Church, the weekly open air Sunday service at the border fence that John first started over a decade ago.

Music bump

The hike to the park takes about half an hour and involves navigating through a flooded road. And the water blocking the road is often filled with raw-sewage runoff from Tijuana. It’s pretty smelly and uninviting.

The flooding is a result of rainwater pouring off hillsides in Tijuana and into the river valley in the U.S.

So, from November through April -- San Diego’s rainy season -- the road is impassable by most vehicles, which is why California state park rangers just keep it closed.

john border church us side NEW clip 5 (12:13 - 12:33)
we actually are working very hard at getting this road repaired so that it would have year round access because for six months a year people have to walk in…….. It's a real deterrent to people visiting Friendship Park and uh, when they opened the road as they will soon and vehicles can drive all the way in the traffic to the park. We'll pick up quite a lot in the next, next few months.

A lot of John’s work over the past decade has been about fighting for access to this small park at the southwest corner of the country.

Because he’s long been touched by the significance of this space.

Music bump

People use Friendship Park as a meeting ground.

Families and friends stuck in Mexico or the U.S. because of their immigration status come here to meet through the border fence. A lot of the people who come to this place haven’t seen each other for years -- sometimes decades.

John points to a woman and her -- he met them earlier in the parking lot.

john border church us side NEW clip 6 (00:47 - :59)
this woman's here to see her sister. She hasn't seen her in 25 years. Oh Wow. Yeah, there's sisters came from Guadalajara. Okay. So they're the road on their way. Are they going to be able to touch through the sensors? Pinkies yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

That’s that pinky kiss the park is famous for.

Then John waves to a young man on a bike. He says the guy comes here nearly every Sunday to peddle out to the park to see his mom, who lives in Tijuana.

john border church us side NEW clip 7 (14:11 - 16:40)
Hola! Como estas? This come us to my mom [inaudible] and the end, yeah. I'm going to be in his mom. His mom, he comes every Quanto Sonia's TNDC obviously thought that to my mind goes, yeah. Yeah. You started at [inaudible] dot [inaudible] okay. Okay. Yeah. So He's been coming for several years to visit his mom. He comes almost every Sunday. Let me Miguel and rides his bike out to the, uh, to friendship park. He was saying that his mom is working, getting her passport, in which case she'll be able to come here to visit him. But yeah, so he's hoping six months or so. And so almost all the families that visit here are in some circumstance like those that we've already met…..
This seems long, I’d cut it down a bit

But not everyone with relatives in Mexico can make use of the park. Rarely do people who are undocumented risk coming out here and being so close to border agents who could detain and deport them.

On the U.S. side, the people who do come to the park are mostly those whose immigration status prevents them from being able to travel to Mexico.

There are actually thousands of people who do have legal status in the U.S., but it doesn't allow them to go to Mexico, or any other country for that matter.

Asylum applicants, refugees, lawful permanent residents or anyone whose immgration status is in flux have to follow special rules when it comes to traveling outside the country. Most people in that situation don’t want to wade through the extra paperwork it requires or risk traveling and then not being allowed back into the U.S.

So they meet their family at the fence here at the beach instead. Where they can at least see one another and touch pinkies through the fence.

And over in Mexico, the people who use Friendship Park as a meeting place are often folks who’ve been deported from the U.S.

But they’re not the only ones. Because there are other obstacles standing in people’s way when it comes to crossing from Mexico to the United States, even if it’s just for a visit.

For Mexicans to visit the U.S., they need a visa and it’s actually not easy to get one. Basically, John says, you need to have money.

john border church us side NEW clip 8 (17:01 - 17:55)
So you have to prove that you have a paycheck or a utility bill or property title to a property that shows you're permanently residing in Mexico and or have sufficient assets that you're not perceived to be a risk of remaining illegally in the United States. Yeah, I have money. You have to have money. It's, it's a class divide. Wealthy Mexicans can get a visa to come to the United States without problem. And as you go down the socioeconomic chain, you get, it gets harder and harder. So the poor in Mexico, uh, the types of folks who the US government would suspect of, uh, perhaps, uh, if they were to be given a visa, you know, overstaying their visa or as they call it, abusing their visa, working outside of their visa, those folks, uh, it turns out it's virtually impossible for the poor in Mexico, uh, to get a visa to come to the United States.

John wanted to be there to support all these people separated by the border fence. So he served communion for the first time at Friendship Park in August of 2008.

Border politics at the time were getting tense and he wanted to help protect the place. He thought holding a church service every Sunday here could help.

A year earlier, the federal government claimed part of the land the park is on so they could build a bigger, more effective border fence. The feds told John and his Border Church followers that they weren’t allowed on the land any longer.

But John is kinda punk rock. He’s as much of an activist as he is a man of god. So he kept meeting at the fence every Sunday despite the fed’s warning.

john border church us side NEW clip 9 (08:28 - 9:04)
So technically we were trespassing on federal property and we kept that up for about six months. This was during the time we were negotiating, trying to make sure that they would leave it open in some fashion for the public. And in February of 2009, they created, uh, the border patrol created a wall of officers, a human wall on the beach to prevent us from accessing the space. And at that time I was detained. They didn't charge me, so I was never arrested. And it didn't, therefore, I guess it didn't qualify as civil disobedience, but we were, we were moving onto prep federal property against their orders. And so in that respect, it was there, had a, there was a protest, didn't him dimension to it.

Maybe some background on John will help explain why the guy was willing to get detained in order to help keep access to Friendship Park open.

Music bump

John was raised here in San Diego. When he was young, he got involved in the Central American peace movement of the 1980s. He says he experienced his call to serve god during a trip to El Salvador.

He fell deeply in love with Latino culture, and it became his passion and commitment to serve Latino congregants for the rest of his life.

He eventually became ordained at a church in the border town of Calexico. He lived and worked in the border town for years, preaching in both English and Spanish.

After that, he decided that the Mexican/American borderland is where he belongs.

He left Calexico and made his way back to San Diego, and promised himself that he’d always work with immigrants from south of the border.

john border church us side NEW clip 10 (19:51 - 21:14)
...people on the move is a, is a dominant theme of the Bible. In some ways I think you can't read the Bible accurately or honestly if you don't understand it as a book about migrants. It's about people who are being moved or a force to move or are feeling called to move. So for me, uh, you know, the scriptures are scriptures. The scriptures of my tradition, my religious tradition, uh, teach us that to move as a very human thing, ….And that's been my experience working on the border as well. And our scriptures call us to welcome the stranger, uh, to treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated ourselves. Uh, to love God and to love our neighbor. These are some of our most fundamental commandments. And so to be faithful in following Jesus as I tried to do in my life, um, but Christians have to uh, have to practice that. If we say we love our neighbor, uh, I feel we're called to practice what we preach.

Finally, the bus filled with other Southern California clergy arrives.

john border church us side NEW clip 11 (21:16 - 21:22)
Here's your bus. Here's our bus. So we're going to have to see how many of these folks are up for a hike.

A group of about 30 people crowd around John, who explains how the service will play out.

john border church us side NEW clip 12 (28:21 - 28:41)
when we get there, we'll negotiate the terms of our entrance with the border patrol duty. Uh, who is assigned the border patrol agent who's on duty, uh, probation. Officially they told us we could have permission today. Uh, they insist always that the agent on duty gets to exercise discretion. Uh, about this. So, uh, I'll do my best when I get out there to let them know.

He also prepares them for the hike.

john border church us side NEW clip 13 (29:10 - 29:26)
so we begin our communion celebration at one 30 and I want it. What time is it now? Are we at 1240? So I want to make sure we get a move on. And again, I'm going to walk quickly. Uh, you'll want to keep the pace up if you want to get there in time for the start, which is one 30 and we'll see you when we get there. All right.

John says for a hike like this, you really need to leave church manners aside.

john border church us side NEW clip 15 (30:20 - 30:50)
I've learned from, I've done probably hundreds of these groups and uh, especially nice church folk there, so courteous. They always slow down to the very slowest walker in the group. Ah. So on a typical Sunday, I'll do this hike in 20, 22 minutes. Yeah. But I've taken a group that's taken an hour to do the hike because they just keep slowing down and it's kind of like, you know, circling back to their, you know, the slowest member. Right. And, uh, so I've learned that there's no way I can, I just decided, I just make the hike and let them catch up.

The hike is beautiful. Blooming wildflowers are everywhere. Birds, too. It’s untouched, undeveloped coastal land -- something you just don’t see in southern California.

This is also the only place in southern California where you can legally ride a horse on the beach, so we pass a few cowboys and girls out on a ride.

Clip 16: Natsound: horse hooves on sand

For most of the peaceful, quiet hike, it’s hard to believe a highly militarized border fence is just a few dozen feet away.

Clip 17: Nat sound: footsteps in sand

Music bump

Over the years, John has met hundreds of families separated by immigration status, so he’s heard a lot of stories about how it happens and why they come here to the fence at the beach.

He says the most touching stories are ones involving life and death. Like when grandmas and grandpas see their grandchildren for the first time. Or when families say goodbye to ailing parents or grandparents for the last time.

john border church us side NEW clip 18 (37:06 - 38:12)
At least once a month we have people bring their small children and are introducing them to their grandparents through the fence. That's a common occurrence. So the uh, presentation of a newborn child or if a small child to grandparents who have ever only facetimed or skyped with that child is just extraordinary. It's beautiful and wonderful.
And we've also had many families across the years who have come long distances to say goodbye to dying loved ones. So for many people, a trip to friendship park can be a kind of a, a last final farewell, uh, where they want to be sure to see their loved one in the flesh before they die. So we've had people, one woman was brought in a wheelchair, she was at well into her eighties, and we were told, had been told she had a few more than a days to live and her family flew her in. Uh, I think that, I think she might've been from Guadalajara, which is at, uh, several hours, a plane flight. And her son had traveled from Chicago to see here at Friendship Park and say goodbye to her, his own mother before she died. (sounds of helicopter)

At a recent border church, Jose Campo stood on the Tijuana side with his kids, waving goodbye to his parents, who he hasn’t seen in 10 years without a big wall between them. His kids have never hugged their grandparents. Though they just spent an hour together at border church - talking and doing pinky kisses across the fence - when it comes time to say goodbye, it isn’t easy. Jose and his kids trail the wall and follow as his parents get farther and farther away towards the parking lot, yelling goodbye back and forth across the wall until they get to their car in the distance.

August 25th Man Clip 2:05 - 2:20 and then again at 2:50
kid: Bye Emi!
Jose: Ey Emi! Yo también te quiero mucho! Te amo!
kid: Bye Emi!
Jose (to kid): tio! Hablale.
kid: Bye tio emi!
Jose (to kid): hablale al tio.
Kid: bye! Bye!
Jose: Ve tu carro! Ve tu carro!

Stay with us.
When we come back, we finish the hike to the fence.

Midroll Ad

We crest a hill and finally, see the fence -- two fences actually.

john border church us side NEW clip 19 (42:19 - 42:32)
See the double wall coming up here. They just replaced the primary wall. Look, Brown metal panels, those are now 30 feet. It's about the height that would cause you to break a leg if you were to jump from the top
john border church us side NEW clip 20 (43:11 - 43:53)
So the way double walls work is not that they're impossible to climb, they aren't, people know how to climb walls, but between the walls is now a no man's land. Nobody supposed to be in there. It's an uncluttered environment. And they have all kinds of high tech gadgetry that can detect if somebody were to cross that first wall, they would be detected immediately. Uh, because nobody's supposed to be in there. If you're in there, you're not supposed to be. And then with the patrol road, they can speed very quickly from one point to the next. And that way they're able to apprehend people before they're able to scale the second wall. So it's really a system of that enhances the capability of border patrol agents to apropos apprehend the people who are trying to cross. It's not that it's impossible to cross in and of itself.

In between the two fences -- in this highly patrolled no-mans-land -- is where the U.S. contingent of Border Church meets.

But John says he never really knows until he gets out to the park every Sunday whether or not he and others are going to be allowed in. He says it’s always an ongoing con versation with various political entities when it comes to negotiating access to get inside the middle of the two fences.

john border church us side NEW clip 21 (48:15 - 49:30)
Well these are really two separate negotiations, if you will, or conversations. So one is a very longterm conversation with the state of California and the state park system that's about repairing the roads so that vehicles can have access to your round. That's one conversation. The other conversation is about the terms of access to federal property for families and others who want to meet up with her friends and loved ones at the wall. Uh, those negotiations have been ongoing since all the way back to 2008 when we first began to push back against the construction of walls at Friendship Park. And, uh, then there's all kinds of, you know, those are very exhausting and unnecessarily detailed driven kinds of negotiations. How many people can come in at one time and what the hours of access are and how long people get to stay in and what they can do once they're inside. Uh, the double wall. All those things are things we have to uh, you know, kind of constantly, uh, I call it negotiations, but all the powers of course on one side of the table, sir, border patrol has control over what happens on federal property and we do our best to try to expand public access to the meeting place on the US side. That's our mission of our coalition, which we call the friends of Friendship Park.

John’s been a part of the Friends of Friendship Park coalition since it formed years ago. That group is really the one that takes centerstage and does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the ongoing negotiations with border patrol about access to the fence.

Border Church grew from John’s work with the activist group, but he says it has turned into its own thing with time.

On the U.S. side, it’s still more about having a weekly presence at the park and protecting access to the fence. There are some Sundays when it’s just John -- no one else on the U.S. side.

But on the Mexican side, Border Church really has grown and blossomed into something much bigger.

john border church us side NEW clip 22 (01:01:50 - 1:02:26)
So we're here on state parks property and to enter Friendship Park we have to step onto federal property. So, uh, agent Gonzalvez who's the border patrol agent on duty for today is confirmed that I'll go in and I'm hoping he'll allow or other visitors to also join in the church service. You can hear the sound system on the other side. That's my colleague Guillermo [inaudible] at. They're doing a sound check. And so, and you can see the white tents through the border wall and a, you can, there's people gathering on that side and that's really where the action is. They've set up whole operation on the Mexican side and a, I'll be going to join them at the border wall and connecting through the wall with them. Wireless microphone.
john border church us side NEW clip 23 (01:02:33 - 1:02:58)
…..And, uh, I see the one family we I chatted with in the parking lot. The woman hadn't seen her sister in 25 years and I can see her visiting her with her sister now. So she's holding her, I presume that's her daughter and her arms and visiting through the wall with her sister on the Mexican side. Cool. Yeah. There's, there's a reunion 25 years in the making.

John disappears into the space in between the two border walls. A few families are already talking through the fence.

Within a few minutes, Border Church is officially underway.

Clip 25: 1:16:44: nat sound of music at border church

Binational Church Full Service Clip 26 (9:23 - 10:02)
I want to invite you to come to the wall. Now is the time to enter into the time of confession on both sides of the wall I invite you to come up to the wall and place your hands on the wall on the other side. As we place our hands on the wall, let me see that connection to our friends on the other side. [inaudible] and with our hands on the wall, we recognize that we are connected to each other through the spirit of God even as we are divided by this wall

On the Tijuana side of the religious service held simultaneously on both sides of the border fence, there’s music....

Binational Church Full Service Clip 27 (02:36 - 4:53)
Join in the singing the song, if you know it or talk to listen as we start praises to God. Music begins....

There’s food...

Food Preparer Clip 28
What are you cooking? Posole…

There’s lots of prayer and preaching...

Binational Church Full Service Clip 29 (00:29 - 1:35)
……. Oh God, we give you thanks for you who have been so good to us and your mercy is whatever [inaudible] you have looked into our hearts and you have sustained us and every volunteer [inaudible] you have given us the guidance that we need to continue in your will.

And there’s even a garden with free veggies up for grabs.

Dan Watman Binational Garden Guy Clip 30 (00:36 - 1:14)
it's open to the public so anybody can come and harvest anytime anybody hungry. And then on Sundays we do, the big harvests we're bringing over like a bag, probably like 60 or 70 solid worth.

Over the years, Border Church on the Mexican side of the wall has transformed into a big event.

It’s not highly monitored or policed on this side of the fence like it is on the other. The freedom means there’s been more room to grow.

The outdoor service in Tijuana has become, in part, a place of refuge for people at a point in their lives that’s full of chaos and insecurity.

Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of the folks who attend Border Church here in Mexico have been deported. They come here to meet family and friends who are still in the U.S.

Robert Vivar Clip 31 (08:13 - 8:53)
Robert: and on the wall right now, right at the center of the wall, we have a table where over communion is going to be set up and are both sides of the wall. On the Mexico side, we have people that are visiting their friends, their relatives from the US side through that Mesh Wall. Of course you can't see them very well, but, uh, you're able to distinguish the, uh, the figures. You're able to do a pinky kiss. And, you know, you might say, what's a pinky kiss while the pinky kiss was designed here in playas, because that's all that you can reach across that border wall to touch your relatives from the u s side. Just the fingertips. That's a pinky kiss that we do.

That’s Robert Vivar, a deportee who now helps run Border Church.

Robert Vivar Clip 32 (09:12 - 9:42)
And you know, right now as we're looking at the border wall, we see, uh, a child, um, who is, um, playing a swinging back and forth, uh, sitting probably there next to a mom and dad that are, that are visiting the relatives on, on the other side. And as we go a little bit further now we can see a couple of more families also that are right up against the border wall, uh, visiting with their family members on, on the US side,

Robert says he knows this well -- he’s a grandfather who was deported.

Robert Vivar Clip 33 (02:07 - 3:04)
……..I haven't seen my grandchildren in about six years. You know, they're, they're growing up, they're missing out on their GRANDPA. I'm missing out on my grandkids. And, you know, the love that our grandparents has for their grandchildren. Uh, you know, it's, it's incredible. Uh, you know, it's something that, that is very valuable for both the grandparents in the child. Uh, so to us it's very important that those grandparents have that opportunity to meet that grandchild and they meet through the border, through the border.

Robert says another part of the church’s congregation is made up of homeless migrants from Central America and other parts of the world. They come to Tijuana to cross into the U.S., but they get stuck. He says many of them are waiting for their asylum cases to make their way through the system.

Border Church helps hook these people up to services in Tijuana. The open-air church also keeps them fed.

Robert Vivar Clip 34 (03:17 - 5:06)
……….we also have nine now garden beds that contain natural flora, but also vegetables that are grown there. ******Uh, the reason for those vegetables is because in the area there's a lot of homeless people, a lot of migrants, um, where their transit migrants are migrants at recently were deported, uh, that are homeless, that don't have anything to eat. And at least, you know, with what we grow in the Guardians, they're able to harvest and have at least a little bit of nutrition while something else happens and they're able to do feed themselves.

GUILLERMO NAVARRETE, the pastor for the Tijuana side of Border Church, helps John Fanestil, lead the service in both Spanish and English.

Right before the service begins, Guillermo tells me that not long ago he was just a normal guy who went to a traditional church sometimes on Sundays.

But then he discovered Border Church.

He says he immediately knew he had to be a part of it.

Mexican Pastor Part 2 Clip 35 (00:02)
….God called me, called me through my heart because this situation, it's hard. It's sad. And the most important thing is injustice. They suffer. I mean, about the migrants, they suffered the injustice. They suffered the reaction of the society. They suffer the, the, the, the travel from their own city that they have a lot of troubles. They're insecure smugglers and whatever. And then they come on, come up to the north, get toTijuana. Uh, here we don't have enough a space for them. They live in the street with the same danger that every city. So they suffer a lot. When I see them, I profound, I, I feel the call of Jesus to help them help them.
Mexican Pastor Part 2 Clip 36 (04:25 - 5:10)
So we have the service here. We connect with the people, inform them what we are doing, and then have a day in the, in the office in order to help them help them. Uh, I am talking about migrants, but it is another group that we are taking care of is the deported people. The poor people came from the American dream. They lost everything. They lost the American dream. They lost the house, they lost the family, lost a job. They lost everything. And come to Tijuana in a depression. Come here with that big and huge emotionally emotion problem.

The service takes about an hour. As it wraps up, the families who came here to meet each other through the fence start saying their goodbyes and parting ways.

John closes the day’s sermon.

Binational Church Full Service Clip 37 (18:03 - 19:59)
….so we give thanks to God for the joy that comes with this reunification of families and trends. It's about time for us to leave here in the United States. I know the party will continue in Mexico is the ICO Meta. Oh man once told me to say, uh, there's a post. So name the party continues on the Mexican side of that. What do we have to, we have to leave here in the United States. I wonder having at least you have one member of a song for us as we leave, we have time for just one short song and then the final benediction.

As the service is wrapping up, I talk to a filmmaker who lives here in Playas de Tijuana. He tells me he tries to come to Border Church as often as he can, because it’s powerful to see something like this happening right at the border wall -- something that’s become *the symbol* for dividing people instead of bringing them together. It’s pretty surreal to see, and he tells me he’s touched by the scene every time.

Something about having the reality of the wall and all it represents right here, it makes their prayers look more like a protest.

Next episode teaser

Next time on the podcast….a story about filming across borders.

Omar Prepares Camera Clip 11 (06:01 - 6;16)
Omar: it's a different way of life here, you know, it's not so many rules and restrictions and I think people are just a lot more willing to that sort of, you know, like let's, let's do something, let's get this done. So to spirit spills out into everything else.

Only here can you find filmmakers in San Diego and Tijuana using the border as a valuable resource instead of a janky prop.

Show credits

Only Here is a KPBS podcast hosted by me Alan Lilienthal. It was written and produced by Kinsee Morlan. Emily Jankowski is the director of sound design. Lisa Morrissette is operations manager and John Decker is the director of programming. KPBS reporter Claire Trageser (tray-ge-ser) helped edit the script.

Do us a favor and, if you liked today’s episode, tweet about it or post it on Facebook. Thanks.

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Only Here

“Only Here” is about the unexplored subcultures, creativity and struggles at the U.S.-Mexico border. The KPBS podcast tells personal stories from people whose lives are shaped by the tension reverberating around the wall. This is a show for border babies, urban explorers or those who wonder what happens when two cultures are both separated and intertwined.