This past week, I took an intern vacation and flew to El Paso, TX to visit my best friend. Though I have had the opportunity to travel Europe and spend time in Tanzania, prior to this I had not strayed off the East Coast of the United States. On this trip I awed at beautiful landscapes, enjoyed delicious cuisine, and learned as much as I could about the mesh of Mexican and American cultures from the people I met. I also experienced a story of hope that reaffirmed my belief in the power of hope.
While I was enjoying my vacation, there were some instances of flash-flooding that filled the Rio Grande, a river that creates a natural border between the US city of El Paso and the Mexican city of Juarez. Cars line up for hours at the border bridge, where citizens of both countries cross into the other for work, leisure, or tourism. With the privilege of my US passport in hand, I crossed the bridge several times throughout the week to explore.
However, not all people have the privilege to even be on that bridge. On Tuesday, word came out that four people had died attempting to cross the river between the two cities, pulled into the current bolstered by the recent flooding. The victims included two women and two teenagers who were attempting to enter the United States in search of a better life. I was shocked and heartbroken that such tragedy had occurred so close to me.
I was not allowed to wallow in shock and sadness for long though. Around me, my best friends and her companions whirled into action, organizing a vigil in honor of the victims, creating press releases, and continuing their work to ensure the humane treatment of all people, no matter what side of the bridge they are on or what type of passport they do (or don’t) have. The consistent hard work and immediate action of the activists in El Paso gave me hope, and reminded me that in times of sorrow, there are always people willing to take action to make the world a better place.
Thank you El Paso for reminding me that stories of hope are all over the world. Where in the world have you experienced a story of hope? Share with us using the hashtag #900storiesofhope #IHaveHope