Home / Sample Itinerary – El Camino de San Diego

Sample Itinerary - EL CAMINO DE SAN DIEGO

A virtual pilgrimage along & across the US-Mexico Border

In this unprecedented time, Via International will provide participants from churches and other faith-based institutions the opportunity to build relationships with community leaders working along and across the U.S. Mexico border. Co-hosting the experience will be leaders of The Border Church / La Iglesia Fronteriza, a binational community of faith dedicated to accompanying the migrant people of God along and across the border.

El Camino de San Diego will offer groups of up to 18 participants the opportunity to meet community leaders engaged in “journeys toward justice.”  These community leaders will serve as hosts and guides, sharing their own spiritual journeys and their own practices of working for justice at the grassroots. Participants will be encouraged and inspired to celebrate their own journeys and embrace their own practices of working for justice in their communities.

OVERVIEW

The typical El Camino de San Diego program consists of six parts: 

  • An Orientation will introduce participants to enduring themes — including colonization, white racism & nationalism — that have given shape to the cultural context of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The orientation will be hosted by Rev. John Fanestil (Ph.D. in History, USC) and leaders from the Via International and Border Church communities.
  • Three Immersive Site Visits will introduce participants to local leaders working for justice at three landmark locations in the California/Baja California borderlands:
    • Chicano Park, where the journeys of “chicanos” and “fronterizos” will be explored;
    • La Plaza El Chaparral, where participants will meet “migrants” and “asylum-seekers”;
    • Friendship Park, where “deportees” and “mixed-status families” will be foregrounded.

These are important sites of pilgrimage in the US-Mexico borderlands, each receiving thousands of visitors annually. What can we learn from the people who visit them?

  • The Border Church / La Iglesia Fronteriza – Join this unique binational community of faith for a “virtual hike” (informal conversation), followed by a 30-minute celebration of communion with friends from both the United States and Mexico.
  • A Closing Retreat will challenge participants to explore their place within “the migrant people of God,” to embrace their own journeys toward justice, and to identify ways that they can live out their own unique callings in their home contexts and communities.

 

To Learn more, browse this Sample HomeBase.

To explore leading your group on a pilgrimage, contact:

Rev. John Fanestil, Ph.D. | Executive Director | Via International | john@viainternational.org | 619-823-6223

ORIENTATION - Welcome to El Camino de San Diego Day 1, 90 - 120 minutes

SHARED RESOURCE IN ADVANCE OF ORIENTATION:

 

  • READING: “Grassroots Responses to the Migrant Caravan of Dec 2018,” by John Fanestil

 

THEMES:

  • The Bible & The People of God 
    • 2 Corinthians 6: 16 “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (see Exodus 6)
    • “a book by migrants, about migrants, for migrants”
  • White racism, nationalism & colonization
  • Introduction to San Diego & Tijuana
  • Introduction to Key Concepts: 
    • faith as spiritual journey (pilgrimage)
    • “encuentro” / encounter
    • faith as grassroots
    • faith as practice
    • faith as justice
    • the “grassroots practices of justice”

 

PRESENTERS:

  • VIA Host (Rev. John Fanestil)
  • Via Virtual Guide (TBD)
  • Group Leader (Visitors)

SITE VISIT I: Chicano Park - Day 2, 90 minutes

White Nationalism & the Colonization of the California Borderlands

Hosts: Chicano Park Steering Committee and Chicano Park Museum

 

SHARED RESOURCE IN ADVANCE OF SITE VISIT:

  • VIDEO (27 mins): The Spirit of Chicano Park
  • ARTICLE: “Engaged Pedagogy: Reflections from a Barriologist,” by Rigoberto Reyes

 

LOCATIONS:

  • Via International Office / Barrio Logan
  • Chicano Park 
  • Murals TBD

 

THEMES: 

  • White racism, nationalism & colonization 
  • The question of identity: Californio, Chicano, Fronterizo, Hispanic, Latino
  • The grassroots practices of justice: 
    • mestizaje
    • cultural identity
    • civil disobedience
    • muralismo 

 

PRESENTERS:

  • Via Virtual Guide (TBD)
  • Group Leader (Visitors)
  • VIA Host (Rigo Reyes)
  • Invitados: muralists TBD

SITE VISIT II: La Plaza “El Chaparral” - Day 3, 90 minutes

Via Migrante: The Migrant People of God

Hosts: Unified U.S. Deported Veterans

 

SHARED RESOURCE IN ADVANCE OF SITE VISIT:

  • Video (12 mins): “The Everyday Commute from Tijuana to San Diego,” by Aida Amador 

 

SITES TO CHECK OUT:

  • Unified US Deported Veterans
  • Madres y Familias Deportadas en Accion 
  • Juventud 2000

 

SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES (Optional):

  • TBD

 

LOCATIONS:

  • San Ysidro Port of Entry (US)
  • Plaza El Chaparral (MX)
  • Albergue Juventud 2000
  • Via International / Via Migrante – 

 

THEMES: 

  • U.S. border enforcement and immigration policies
  • The Question of Status: Immigrants, Refugees, Fronterizo Communities
  • The grassroots practice of justice: 
    • asylum
    • advocacy
    • legal solidarity
    • community development 

 

PRESENTERS:

  • Via Virtual Guide
  • Group Leader (Visitors)
  • VIA Hosts (Robert Vivar, Aida Amado)
  • Juventud 2000 Host (Yesenia Ardon)

SITE VISIT III - Friendship Park - Day 4, 90 minutes

The Border Wall – the Search for Unity in a Broken World 

Hosts: The Friends of Friendship Park

 

SHARED RESOURCE IN ADVANCE OF SITE VISIT:

  • FILM (7 mins):  “Meeting at Friendship Park” by Pearson Education 

 

SITES TO CHECK OUT:

 

SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES (optional)

  • READING: HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP PARK (Paige Landis)
  • FILM (5 mins): THROUGH THE WALL (The Guardian)
  • INTERVIEW (45 mins): BUILD THAT PARK! (SD Design Week)

 

LOCATIONS:

  • The Border Wall
  • Friendship Park (US)
  • Friendship Park (MX)

 

THEMES: 

  • The hardening of the US-Mexico border and the question of FAMILY
  • The US-Mexico War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the question of FRIENDSHIP
  • The grassroots practices of justice: 
    • familia y amistad (Friends of Friendship Park)
    • civil disobedience (American Friends Service Committee)
    • liturgical lament (La Posada Sin Fronteras)
    • consciousness-raising / changing narratives (Build That Park)
    • “sacramental solidarity” (The Border Church / La Iglesia Fronteriza)

 

PRESENTERS:

  • Virtual Guide 
  • Group Leader (Visitors)
  • VIA Host (John Fanestil)
  • Friends of Friendship Park Host (_________________)
  • Invitados: Dan Watman, Lucia Torres, Tania Mendoza

BORDER CHURCH - Day 5 (Sunday), Part 1, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Acompañamiento and the Migrant People of God

Hosts: The Border Church / La Iglesia Fronteriza

 

GETTING READY TO WORSHIP WITH THE BORDER CHURCH

  • FILM (7 mins): A PRAYER BEYOND BORDERS (Dustin Craun / Ala Khan) 

 

SITES TO CHECK OUT:

 

SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES (optional)

  • PODCAST (30 mins): THE BORDER CHURCH (KPBS Podcast) 
  • READING: ““A Divided Friendship-Friendship Park: The Past, Present and Future of the U.S.-MexicoBorder,” by John Fanestil in Crossing Lines: Religion and Politics in America’s Borderlands (Sarah Azaransky, ed.,Lexington Books, 2013)

FINAL RETREAT - Day 5 (Sunday), Part 2 - 90 minutes

Celebrating Your Own Journey, Developing Your Own Practice

 

GETTING READY FOR THE FINAL RETREAT

  • TBD

 

Part I –  Journeying Toward Justice
Part II – Practicing your Faith – Participant-Led Reflections

 

PRESENTERS:

  • Via Host (Rev. John Fanestil)
  • Via Virtual Guide
  • Group Leader (Visitors)

To explore leading your group on a pilgrimage, contact:

Rev. John Fanestil, Ph.D. | Executive Director | Via International |

john@viainternational.org | 619-823-6223

Or fill out this form!


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