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This is a map of all afterschool programs in Oakland and nearby cities.

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Rivermouth blues. Vicky, from San Diego-Tijuana

I grew up in Imperial Beach, a tiny beach town in San Diego just above the Tijuana River and the border with Tijuana. Surfing is a really big thing in both my hometown and the neighboring Playas de Tijuana. We are well known in the surfing world for the huge waves that the river and our sand reefs create. I am a bodysurfer, which means that I time the waves just right and ride them without a board. It's really intense! 
A lot of people, when they think about the border, they think about people crossing it: people paying coyotes to bring them through the treacherous desert, the huge line of cars waiting to get into San Diego, drunk American tourists waiting to cross back at the peatonal (the foot-crossing). What a lot of people don't know about is all the raw sewage, trash and factory runoff that crosses, mixing into the river and flowing into the Pacific Ocean. I've gone to clean-ups in the river valley and have seen really toxic stuff. Surfers get sick from the water all the time. A close surfing friend of mine just got over Hepatitis A, which is really painful.
Tijuana and San Diego have an agreement to work together to clean the water. The municipal utility district in Tijuana is really progressive: they treat the water until it's nearly potable, and use the water for a native plant nursery they are using to repopulate the hills of Tijuana, which have been slowly deteriorating with all the rain and unincorporated colonias (neighborhoods that aren't zoned by the city). San Diego has more resources but isn't doing nearly as much, though the Port District is able to spend lavishly on tourist infrastructure. This is a problem that affects mostly poor, working and middle class people of color. 

 

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