The Statue of Liberty is symbolic for America’s independence and also for the freedom of the people in this country. It was a light for the dreams of incoming immigrants that entered the U.S. through Ellis Island. It’s also on the East Coast, which means Latin American immigrants have never had that experience. That may soon change, thanks to the San Diego Organizing Project (SDOP), an organization raising money in order to erect another symbolic vision for migrants wanting that American dream.
For Latin Americans — many who walk thousands of miles from South America through Mexico — their journey to the U.S. is brutal. But one thing that has always kept them going is their faith. That is why the SDOP is building a massive statue of the Virgin Mary on a hilltop in San Ysidro, San Diego, The Los Angeles Times reports.
San Ysidro, which is the first U.S. city migrants see when they cross the border into the U.S., has been a gateway for millions of Latinos, American visitors, undocumented or not. So this 40-ft statute that will be called “Welcome the Stranger” will mean so much to so many.
“It will stand as a beacon of hope and encouragement for people engaged in the struggle of the migrant,” artist Jim Bliesner, who created the statue told the L.A. Times.
The project will reportedly cost $2 million dollars, and the great news is $1 million has already been raised.
“Inspired by the Statue of Liberty, we will build a monument high above the U.S.-Mexico border, welcoming a new generation of immigrants and refugees yearning for freedom and prosperity,” SDOP states on the fundraising website. “The monument, an interpretation of Mary as Lady Liberty, will stand tall above the border fence in San Ysidro, California, visible for miles to welcome aspiring new Americans. The statue will be illuminated each night, ensuring she is always visible for miles as a beacon of welcome to all.”
For more information or to donate to the creation of this statue click here.