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San Luis Port of Entry Expansion Changes Friendship Park Plans

Friendship Park in San Luis, Arizona sits on the U.S./Mexico border.   For 30 years, it served as a gathering point for families from both sides of the border and the city planned a major renovation.  Now, a move to expand the nearby Port of Entry has changed those plans.  KAWC’s Maya Springhawk Robnett explains…

Lizandro “Louie” Galaviz, the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of San Luis, said the park has had a community role for a long time.

“For many years, it was I guess the hub for people to be able to cross to Mexico and have their families close by,” Galaviz said. “And so it was a meeting place for families from both sides of the border.”

The park has been closed for years as the main street leading to the border underwent construction.  Now the port itself is expanding, putting the future of the park in limbo. 

Galaviz said the San Luis City Council and mayor consider expanding the Port of Entry vital for the city’s economic future because it will make border crossing easier for pedestrians and, eventually, vehicles. 

But the park will have to be relocated.  Galaviz said he hopes the new park will also be near the border.

“We see families welcoming and saying goodbye at the same time close to our borders,” he said, “and I think for us it’s important to have an area that supports that.”

Construction on the new San Luis Port of Entry is expected to be completed by Fall 2018.