YouTube video of a posada in Ciudad Juarez (Mexico) area from YsletaLM
Throughout Mexico this time of year residents re-enact the story of how Joseph and Mary seek shelter on Christmas Eve. The recreated journey – which can be repeated over several nights – ends with a celebratory fiesta at an appointed house.
The border has appropriated this tradition with its own Posada Sin Fronteras (Posada Without Boundaries) at the border fence. La Prensa San Diego reports that the 15th annual event will take place this Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the fence area along Border Field State Park, .
The Tijuana border posadas create a parallel between the plight of immigrants and how Mary and Joseph seek hospitality in a foreign and unfriendly land, according to a recently-published book by USC professor Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo called “God’s Heart Has No Borders. How Religious Activists are Working for Immigrant Rights.”
I came across the book on a USC colleague’s desk and read the section in which Hondagneu-Sotelo discusses the meaning of border posadas and shares her own observations from attending one. Hondagneu-Sotelo calls the Tijuana tradition an example of how “symbols and rituals from distinctively Mexican and Catholic traditions mesh with interdenominational Christian beliefs to galvanize moral voice against U.S. border policy.”
This year’s border posada takes place as U.S. authorities move forward with plans to fortify this section of the fence.
For a short and quick explanation of posadas, go here.
Disclosure: My job as a media representative at the University of Southern California includes bringing attention to books authored by USC professors and this particular book seemed relevant to this particular blog posting.