top
Julia Alvarez: official author website
bar stripe
leftie
Virtual Vigil  *  BOL 2015  *  BOL 2014  *  BOL 2013  *  BOL 2012  * 
* Storytelling  *  Citizenship  *  Poem  * 

Border of Lights
October 1-4, 2015

Your grateful petitioner, Julia Alvarez -- candle lit by your faith in us. Border of Lights walk at the Border during the Vigil. Border of Lights, October 2015
your grateful petitioner --
candle lit by your faith in us

At border between Haiti & Dominican Republic

Virtual Vigil
Saturday, October 3, 2015
8 - 10 pm EST

Message from Julia
October 13, 2015

For all of you who helped Border of Lights 2015 with your funds, your lights, your prayers, your lit presence for our online vigil, thank you so much.

We just completed our fourth BOL, this year saddened by the death of a Haitian boy the very day that BOL started, October 1, 2015. A Dominican truck driver ran over a boy returning home from school on his bicycle -- an accident, but sadly we added another name to our list at the vigil commemorating those who died in 1937. After the accident, the situation grew tense, the angry crowd had to be dispersed by tear gas; Dominican driver and his companion narrowly escaped lynching by being rescued by Haitian police -- something not noted in many news reports.

why we are there -- the ones coming up . . .
Why we are there -- the ones coming up. Border of Lights, October 2015 White flowers & candles. Border of Lights, October 2015
. . . white flowers & candles
leftie
At the barricades -- no way through. Border of Lights, October 2015
at the barricades -- no way through

Because of this casualty and explosive situation (fed not just by accidents but the human rights violations which continue), the guardias on the Dominican side did not let us procession to the border with our lights but stopped us at their barricade. We finally gave up trying to talk them into letting us go further and instead handed over our white flowers and some of our candles and the soldiers walked them to the border for us. Later, we heard that a couple of the young guards (look at some of those faces: BOYS with guns) kept relighting the candles when they went out. They also prayed with us -- though one did take that moment of silence to check for text messages!

DeAndra handing over flowers . . .
DeAndra handing over flowers. Border of Lights, October 2015 Guards pray with us -- as well as check text messages. Border of Lights, October 2015
. . . guards pray with us -- as well as check text messages
The crowd at border grows. Border of Lights, October 2015 The crowd at border grows. Border of Lights, October 2015
the crowd at border grows

online vigil at restuarant with wifi . . .
Online vigil at restuarant with wifi. Border of Lights, October 2015 May the circle be unbroken. Border of Lights, October 2015
. . . may the circle be unbroken

Over the course of those four days, we had a successful panel with the students and community members at the border university UTESA, a delivery of school supplies on the bridge to Sor Alexandra who runs the orphanage in Ouanaminthe, an online vigil, and a Social Justice symposium to close BOL 2015 with representatives from organizations on the ground, MUDHA and RECONOCI.DO, that are defending the rights of denationalized Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as Haitians being deported without warning or an opportunity to notify their families, collect their belongings and salaries due them. We were able to gift these organizations funds because of your KICKSTARTER donations. Do note the photo of the check shows a sizable donation, but no, we did not make two USA $15,000 checks, those checks are pesos, conversion rate 45 pesos to the dollar. You do the math!

But, hey, we would love to have that kind of sizable KICKSTARTER donation for BOL 2016!

panel with the students and community members at the border university UTESA . . .
panel with the students and community members at the border university UTESA. Border of Lights, October 2015 Kickstarter donations to orgs defending rights -- checks we could give orgs because of your donations. Border of Lights, October 2015
. . . Kickstarter donations to orgs defending rights -- checks we could give orgs because of your donations

(We also used your KICKSTARTER donations to buy supplies for the orphanage in Ouanaminthe, paint the firehouse in Dajabón, rent the space for the symposium, buy lunch for all the symposium participants -- we made your money s-t-r-e-t-c-h! BTW, we did pay for our own online vigil meal at RistoArte, including the wine and rum which made fielding some of the nastier xenophobic comments a little easier. I must say that every time a face I knew posted with a light, I had to blow my nose on my paper napkin! What a thrill -- it really is a chill feeling to see what we already know, but it's easy to forget: we are connected!)

delivering school supplies . . .
Delivering school supplies. Border of Lights, October 2015 Sor Alexandra & helpers picking up supplies. Border of Lights, October 2015
. . . Sor Alexandra & helpers picking up supplies
leftie

A packed four days! If you want to see more visit the Facebook and Twitter pages (for online vigil photos and a timeline of 2015 BOL).

Next year, join us at the border. You are a luminous bunch and BORDER OF LIGHTS needs all the lights we can get!

Personal Inspiration:
Rise Up, Brothers: A CD of Music by my friend Piti, available now as a CD and mp3s -- click for album summary
CD: Rise Up, Brothers

Visit our website: borderoflights.org.

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/BorderofLights.

Twitter handle for BOL is @border_oflights.

Our Kickstarter campaign goes through September 18, 2015.


bar stripe
Julia Alvarez: official author website

credits
   find Julia Alvarez on:
find Julia Alvarez on facebook
   looking for something?
try the site map   or search:

only search JuliaAlvarez.com
Sienna Moonfire Potts: website creation and maintenance send website feedback to Julia Alvarez's webster
website by Sienna M Potts: Siennese.com
many thanks to Alex Chapin for the original design
this website generated with 100% recycled electrons
last updated 17 February 2016 :: 11 am Caspar (Pacific) time

unless otherwise noted
all website content copyright © 2003-2016 Julia Alvarez
all rights reserved, thank you
website design copyright © 2003-2016 Sienna M Potts