«A smooth sea never made a skilful mariner.»
«Un mar tranquilo nunca hizo un marinero hábil.»
I’ve never imagined how it feels to arrive to a city in the summer heat of 50 C degrees. It’s not only that you start to sweat in the fraction of a moment… but when you’d open the car’s windows to let the air in, the breeze that enters is almost burning. Even the wind is hot. The sun burns like there is no tomorrow. Without air-conditioning it’s almost impossible to live there. Almost, as there are always those who cannot afford it.
We were kindly offered a stay at the community house and headquarters of piarists in return for our voluntary work to the communities of Educacio Solidara. Imagine that the water warming system simply was turned off… because nobody needed it as the tubes could not stand the heat, and if you didn’t want to burn yourself it was wiser to take a shower in the morning.
It was such an extreme experience that I grew fond of it during that we week that we passed in Mexicali. I was reminded to the documental of Norilsk (Norilsk, L’étreinte de glace), the icy Russian city of Siberia, that lives through winters of -50 C degrees.
Yet people live and strive at both highly extremes climates.
Mexicali was established in 1902, and it’s a border city to the USA. A border wall is erected in the middle of the city, separating it from Calexico – a 3 or 4 meters high wall that goes on to Tijuana (as it goes to the East Coast as well, I am sure). When you pass the highways in the mountains to Tijuana, you can still see the undisturbed line as it follows the border all along in the desert.
As since many years a good friend of ours supports the local communities (children, youth, and women who mostly live in difficult situations, adverse experiences of poverty and other things), we were planning to come to volunteer for a week back in 2020 – but it was impossible to travel last year due to the Covid.
I lead two groups in Mexicali for a three days (2 hours/day) to try and practice TRE® (Trauma Release Exercises), I had one group in Tijuana for two days, and gave various masterclasses – one in Mexicali for adolescents who live in a shelter home run by the Trinitarian sisters – ; and another one for the community of Father Saturnino’s community of women in Tijuana.
I feel deeply honoured by the courage, openness and vulnerability of all those who participated in the group activities or in the masterclasses. I have learned so much again, and I hope, I trust, I have that gut feeling that what we’ve done together in these days was worthy of the time and dedication of the participants. Thank you, to help me to grow, and thank you, for your presence and curiosity. I keep you all in my heart.
On the third page you can find some photos of the TRE® workshops, and some other photos from Mexciali and Tijuana.