I have been writing about my friend Dr. Luis Garcia for almost 10 years. That’s how long he has been doing my dental work in Tijuana at the Baja Oral Center. Over the course of those years, Dr. Garcia has become much more than my dentist; he has become my friend. Way back in 2007 I had broken my front tooth off by biting into an English muffin that was hard as a rock. [Read more…]
By Jill Holslin
If you haven’t been to Tijuana in a while, now’s the time to come for a visit. The show “Collection of Elias-Fontes Historia y Relato” (History and Story) at The Centro Cultural of Tijuana in Zona Rio, is an exhibition that asks serious questions about the role of the artist in the context of the relentless, pulsating vitality of contemporary capitalism.
Bringing together the work of a generation of northern Baja California artists, the work is remarkable for its variety of materials and forms: metal, industrial refuse, adobe, ceramic, fabric, found objects, and acrylic paint formed into collage, photography, video, sculpture, ready-mades and installation. [Read more…]
El Nido de Las Aguilas is a Tijuana neighborhood located where the U.S.-Mexico border fence abruptly ends. Residents can go back and forth between the two countries, but the steep mountainous terrain makes crossing pointless, if not foreboding. People live quietly here with a few small convenience stores and public transportation that runs through the main streets every fifteen minutes or so.
Homes in this neighborhood are constructed mostly of recycled materials, such as tin, wooden garage doors and car tires. In a few parts of the neighborhood the border is used as a fourth wall for residents’ homes. [Read more…]
Steven Schoenherr / South Bay Compass
She was a petite blond who lived in Imperial Beach and graduated from Mar Vista High in 1967. She was also a bullfighter.
Raquel Martinez was 22 when she left her home at 729 Cypress Avenue in 1971 and faced her first bull in the Tijuana Cortijo. She was determined to become the first woman matador since Patricia McCormick and Bette Ford in the 1950s, and to become as famous as the great Conchita Cintrón in the 1940s. [Read more…]
The Skybridge opened on Wednesday, which crosses from San Diego into the Tijuana International Airport. The bridge requires a toll, a passport and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol inspection. The skybridge was built with investor money that included Chicago billionaire Sam Zell who is also known as the chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties, the largest mobile-home landlord.
Will this be the beginning of more bridges in U.S.-Mexico relations? In 1959 entrepreneur Allen Parkinson set out to create an international skyride that would cross from San Ysidro into Tijuana, relieving congestion and becoming a tourist attraction at the same time. Plans were foiled by construction of the I-5 freeway. During the 1970s a monorail was planned between San Diego and Tijuana, but the project that also went nowhere. [Read more…]
On December 12th millions of Catholics will go on a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. They will celebrate the feast day of the Virgen de Guadalupe, which has been a national holiday in Mexico since 1859.
Tijuana, too, has its pilgrimage to their most beloved church: the Cathedral of Our Lady Guadalupe. Located in the heart of downtown, the Church is considered a historic site. [Read more…]
By Beryl Forman
Before getting married, my Brazilian husband lived in San Diego for several years with an expired visa. Acknowledging the circumstance, he remained acutely nervous of military bases, checkpoints and kept his distance from the international border.
Before anything bad happened, he returned to Brazil. After my first visit to see him, we decided to get married and applied for a fiancé visa. As assumed, the process was arduous, inconvenient and expensive, with several unexpected hurdles.
Four years passed, and he was finally granted a visa and we were married. On the day he received his green card, we accompanied some friends for an evening across the border. With the intentions of parking in San Ysidro, by accident, and quite ironically, we drove across the border. Luckily, the border agents allowed us to avoid the headache of the border wait by assisting us in making a U-turn directly in the front of the line. That night, my husband successfully crossed the border twice with his brand new green card. [Read more…]
By Barbara Zaragoza/ SouthBayCompass
The Times of San Diego reported that former Arkansas governor and Presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, visited Border Field State Park on Saturday, October 10th. Standing alongside former congressman, Duncan Lee Hunter, Huckabee talked about illegal border crossers, saying: “They’re not coming to make beds and pick tomatoes. They’re coming to sell drugs. They’re coming to commit crime and to bring the mayhem that they have in their hearts upon the American people.”
Huckabee didn’t cite his sources. The statement was interesting because more than 68% of the 1.6 million people living in Tijuana legally cross the border at least once a year (sometimes once a week); they have in their hearts a desire — to shop. They spend at least $6 billion a year, or more than $1 of every $8 in retail sales in San Diego. (Check page 7 of the linked report.) That means legal, peaceful Tijuanese put a heck of a lot of sales tax dollars into our economy each year. [Read more…]
Turista Libre tour of Tijuana Photo Festival captures border town’s moment of change
By George Howell
What better way to get to a photography festival than to sit in an old school bus with the artist-organizers and a handful of curious Americans, listening to booming dance music while the eastern hinterlands of Tijuana whiz past your window?
On Saturday, October 3rd, I hopped on board the bus tour co-sponsored by Turista Libre, the Tijuana-based tour operator, and the coordinating team of the modest, but highly ambitious First International Festival of Photography Tijuana (FiFT). As artist Rebecca Goldschmidt told me, “We don’t just want to take people to the sites where the festival events are taking place. We want a dialogue.” [Read more…]
By Barbara Zaragoza
In 1848, the U.S.-Mexican War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty stipulated that Mexico relinquish 1.2 million square miles of its territory to the United States in return for $15 million. It also assigned a Joint U.S. and Mexican Boundary Commission to determine the exact location of the new boundary line.
The Commission consisted of a large caravan of men, including a commissioner and a surveyor for both sides. The drawing of the boundary line took two years to complete–from 1849 to 1851. The Joint Commission erected 52 boundary monuments with #1 overlooking the Pacific Ocean in what today is Border Field State Park. [Read more…]
By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass
Eye on the Locals: In the micro-world of our communities, many people dedicate their lives to bettering our neighborhoods and end up bettering the world. Mike McCoy of Imperial Beach is heralded as the individual who helped save the largest coastal wetland in Southern California. Here is his story:
Mike McCoy grew up in Boulder, Colorado and came to San Diego in 1970, the year he graduated veterinarian school and got an internship at the San Diego Zoo. While going to vet school, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and it qualified him to land that particular internship. It was the first long extended internship they offered at the zoo.
It was here that he met his wife, Patricia McCoy, an Englishwoman from London who fled to the countryside during the WWII bombings. She eventually became a city council member in Imperial Beach and they both were avid environmental activists. [Read more…]
By Barbara Zaragoza / The South Bay Compass
Inside Border Field State Park you can find the center of the immigration issue. On the American side, each Saturday and Sunday Friendship Park is open to the public from 10am to 2pm.
A gated area heavily monitored by Border Patrol,Friendship Park has a binational garden and thick mesh beyond which you can see Boundary Monument #258 on the Mexican side.
This park is where activist groups come to protest the ever increasing construction of fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border.Border Angels often comes here to bring awareness to the number of immigrants who have died trying to cross to the United States. Protestant Minister John Fanestil provides bi-national religious services on Sundays. Dan Watman has created a binational garden and also hosts events such as binational poetry readings. You can also find out what’s happening at Friendship Park through caring volunteers who run the website FriendshipPark.org. [Read more…]
By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass
When you live in the South Bay, the city of Tijuana appears on the horizon just about wherever you go. If you don’t cross the border daily, then most of your neighbors and friends do. South Bay residents know that Tijuana offers shopping, art, business opportunities, time with family and, of course, good food and wine.
So when a wonderful on-line newspaper like Voice of San Diego descends upon our border neighborhood of San Ysidro, bringing with them an audience of “northerners” to tell them about how they should visit Tijuana, we South Bay locals look at each other rather perplexed. Don’t they already know that?
On October 22nd Voice of San Diego’s culture report writer, Alex Zaragoza, hosted a “Meeting of the Minds” at The Front Art Gallery: a building along historic San Ysidro Boulevard designed by famed architect Louis Gill in 1929. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the many delights of Tijuana. Karl Strauss offered beer, perhaps to make the experience less frightening to the audience members who presumably trekked all the way from places like North Park to visit the depths of the border region. [Read more…]
Mari’s story is harrowing and heartbreaking, but hardly unique.
By Brooke Binkowski
This week, I visited a home in Tijuana for young girls who have been trafficked — bought and sold into slavery, sometimes across international borders, sometimes not, but always horrifically abused and tortured either psychologically, physically, or both — and spoke with them, an adult trafficking victim, and Alma, who started the home.
The issue of human trafficking is enormous and difficult to fully appreciate, so I will only focus on thing: a woman I met who I’ll call Mari.
Mari is 40 years old. She was born in Mexico, and spent the first few years of her life in Tijuana. She had always heard that the United States were where you could go to make money to take care of your family, so when a friend of her parents said he was going to the US, she asked him to take her along. [Read more…]
By Beryl Forman
In 2003, Rashad Marx, who was just 19, opened The Source, a boutique in Tijuana dedicated to independent design and graffiti art. He sourced most of the clothing from north of the border by connecting with designers in LA, San Francisco, New York, and San Diego. The Source thrived for a little over five years before it finally fell victim to Tijuana’s economic decline, which came as an aftermath to 9-11,the Mexican drug war and American border policies.
From the 1920’s to the early part of the 21st Century, Tijuana was a constant mecca for tourists. Its downtown entertainment corridor, Avenida Revolución, was thronged by Americans seeking a vaguely exotic, cheap foreign excursion. Tijuanans tended to steer clear of the crowds and the escalated prices in the main ‘tourist’ drag, even though there were many young people who would probably have enjoyed mingling with the wild, drunk Americans. Once tourism plummeted, downtown businesses began catering to the desires of Tijuana’s young and artsy locals. The city began its slow renaissance led by business entrepreneurs, cultural organizations, and artists. [Read more…]
By Bob Dorn
This week, my best friend and wife and I– the two of us– spent 48 hours on a quick trip to Baja; three of those were spent in line waiting to get back into the U.S.
It was 7:30 a.m. when we had finished looping around the center of TJ and entered the river bed east of the center. We didn’t know at this point that we’d followed “San Diego” signs until they’d disappeared. We were left to ourselves to learn that the left lane would turn into a Left Turn Only lane, withdrawing us from our salvation and guarantor of freedom, the U.S. [Read more…]
By Beryl Forman
This semester I was unable to register for any classes offered through SDSU’s department of City Planning, where I am working towards my masters degree. As to not get sidetracked from my academic pursuit, I opened my options up to what is being taught throughout the entire University.
A friend of mine offered a few recommendations, and the one that stood out was called Culture and Society of Tijuana, an entire class devoted to Tijuana!
As an Urban Planning student living in San Diego, Tijuana has captured my attention from the day I moved here over eight years ago.
I’ve had the opportunity to write a couple of research papers and interview important people about the history of planning between our border cities and Tijuana’s public spaces. To further my area of interest, it only seemed appropriate that I register for this class, even if it was an undergraduate course that didn’t count towards my major. [Read more…]
Giving Drive spans borders, cultures, and generations
On Saturday December 15 Ruben Torres, with some help from his friends, plans on loving his neighbors by organizing a toy, clothing and shoe drive for youth in Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito and San Diego. Hosted by the fine folks at The Spot in Barrio Logan, the 3rd annual Love Thy Neighbor event will feature music by Karlos Paez, DJ Beto Perez, Rudy Roots and PEET-O Perez as well as an art show by Rebel, El ReSK and Fine Print.
Ruben Torres, a South San Diego native, used to spearhead the independent music label Rescue Records for the rock band P.O.D. and then started his own label, Cosa Nostra Records, where he managed, wrote and produced records for several successful artists. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he had the opportunity to work with people and groups such as R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg, Run DMC, Robin Thicke, Papa Roach and many others. He eventually moved back to San Diego and launched his own Latin urban clothing line, Jefe Clothing. [Read more…]
It’s a day for underdogs to celebrate. After three decades of Republican rule, Bob Filner’s ascension into San Diego’s top spot marks the start of a new era in San Diego politics. At long last our city’s neighborhoods, long considered a red headed step-child in terms of urban planning and economic development will be given the opportunity to have their needs and desires given a fair shake. We hope, anyway.
Meanwhile, in the “missing half” of our metropolis, more than 100,000 residents of Tijuana took to the streets in neighborhoods throughout that city to celebrate victory for Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente as that team emerged as champions in Mexico’s highest level of soccer.
The nay-sayers are already jumping on both these stories. [Read more…]
I have been going to Tijuana for dental work for five years. In that time I’ve had two root canals, several crowns and an implant. I’ve also taken my two granddaughters down there for routine dental work a couple of times. In the process I’ve saved several thousand dollars and been completely pleased with the results.
There are probably a lot of good dentists in Tijuana and some bad ones. The problem for most people is knowing who to go to. People need referrals to good dentists so please feel free to comment on experiences that you’ve had with dentistry in Tijuana – both whom you’d recommend and who to stay away from. Personally, I would recommend the office I’ve been going to which is Baja Oral Center. There is a network of dentists there ranging from children’s dentistry to general dentistry to tooth implants. All the dentists speak perfect English so there is no language barrier. One call to Berniece, the receptionist, whose English also is great suffices to set up an appointment. By the way it’s a local call. They have a 619 area code. So that’s two barriers out of the way: language and referral. And did I mention that they’re very friendly and accommodating to your schedule? [Read more…]
Mexicans turned out in twenty cities throughout that country on Saturday to protest against the electoral victory of president elect Pena Nieto. They accuse Nieto’s party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), of buying votes; some carried banners saying “Not another fraud”. He was declared the winner last week after a recount of nearly half the votes and denies the allegation, as he has with repeated scandals that threatened his career. It turns out he’s quite the cad, with extra baby mommas and recreational hookups galore–Ashleymadison.com, the dating website for married people, proudly put Peña Nieto on a billboard in Mexico City, saying, “Unfaithful to his family. Faithful and committed to his country.”
Numerous videos have emerged of Mexicans claiming they received gift cards in exchange for voting for the PRI; some even claim they are coming forward because they were shortchanged. Aljazeera cites Eduardo Huchim, formerly a senior official with the Electoral Institute of Mexico City, and currently a monitor with Civic Alliance, a UN-funded watchdog, as telling the Reforma newspaper that the July 1 election was “perhaps the largest operation of vote buying and coercion in the history of the country”. Voters inMexico City, an opposition stronghold, have been posting pictures via Twitter of alleged ballot tampering. [Read more…]