This summer I am hiking another 400 miles or so on the Pacific Crest Trail, this time in central California. More than ever, I am keenly aware of what it means to travel with such ease as a hiker, while so many others--refugees, asylum seekers, and all other migrants--travel under duress and face intensified scrutiny and violence.
So I am using this year's hike to raise funds for Al Otro Lado, a bi-national organization that supports migrants, refugees, and deportees primarily in Tijuana, Mexico and Los Angeles, California. In addition to their primary work providing free direct legal services, they also train volunteer attorneys to handle asylum cases; work with local organizations to organize housing, medical and mental health resources, and other support for migrants and asylum seekers; and provide information and material resources for deportees. Al Otra Lado has also been at the forefront of efforts to end forced detention/separation of migrant families, and they are the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging DHS/CBP practices that unlawfully deprive asylum seekers from access to the asylum process.
I have set the donation goal at approximately twice my planned mileage: $800. If we reach the goal I will kick in another $200 to bring the total up to $1000. I would be very grateful for any contribution you can make to support Al Otro Lado's crucial work. If you donate $25 or more, I will send you a postcard from the trail! (Please include your email address if you want a postcard, so I can contact you for a mailing address!)
(For updates on my hike, check my blog.)