La Jolla Golden Triangle’s newest project comes to life during border visit on May 12
La Jolla Golden Triangle’s International Committee (Committee) has just taken on a cross-border project called Pads at the Border. Rotarians, Fary Moini and Jan Percival, a recent SDSU graduate and Rotaractor McKenna Avery visited the border last Wednesday to deliver pads and other supplies.
When Rotarians pulled their car into the middle of Tijuana’s migrant street camp, the call went out quickly: “Mujeres! Solamente Mujeres!” (Women! Only Women!) and within 45 minutes, they finished distributing over 1,200 sanitary pads to a long line of women and teenage girls.
These women and girls are among the 1,500 residents of the El Chaparral migrant camp, just a stone’s throw from the U.S. border. This unofficial – and unwanted – tent city materialized in February, shortly after President Biden’s inauguration. Fleeing violence at home in Central America, Haiti and Africa, these migrants refuse to leave as they wait for a chance to apply for asylum in the U.S.
Rotarians visited in order to help relieve the distress of women and teenage girls whose menstruation is a monthly nightmare. With no money to purchase pads and no privacy to wash and dry their underwear, it’s a barbaric and humiliating situation, with the potential to be a public health crisis. 
Before heading back to San Diego, they made a second stop at the Templo Embajadores church located in the rugged Scorpion Canyon on the west side of Tijuana. This church-turned-shelter now houses an additional 500-600 asylum-seekers. They quickly distributed clean, new underwear to women and girls, in addition to Pedialyte purchased at Costco in Tijuana. Dehydration is taking a terrible toll on some of the children housed at Templo Embajadores. 
Committee members realize that long-term solutions are beyond their short-term scope, but they are committed to helping NOW. With support from organizations like Rotary, they hope to continue our deliveries as long as there are women and teenage girls in these grievous circumstances.
Their recent visit was made possible by their alliance with Linda Carroll, co-founder of One Story at a Time, a non-profit that provides humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable people and sentient beings in Mexican border towns. Case manager Maria Lourdes Arias Trujillo (known as “Lulu”) was their guide and translator. A long-time humanitarian activist, Lulu’s compassionate familiarity among the migrants made their visit to the street camp, and shelter, feel non-invasive. 
To neighbors, friends and Rotarians who donated to support this visit, please know that the Committee members pledge to use all resources with integrity and care. They will not give up. To donate to Pads at the Border, please visit Where it says “ write us a comment” please designate “Pads at the Border.”