Are you refugees?

Paso JeĆ­nemeni, border crossing point

Location No.: 51

Time spent there: 10 minutes on 01/31/17

This was the second time I had walked across the border between two countries. Last year I hiked into Canada from the USA while thru hiking the Appalachian Trail and the IAT . This time I was border hopping between Argentina and Chile while exploring Patagonia.

Thomas and I arrived at the chilean border crossing checkpoint after walking 5 miles from the argentine town of Los Antiguos. A friendly officer takes our passports.

“So you are from the United States of America?.” He is suddenly serious.

“Yes.”

“I’ve been following the news about your country and your new president.”

“Umm. Ok”, we chuckle and frown a little. We are still getting used to everyone we meet making some comment about our country’s current political climate.

The border patrol officer looks at our backpacks and smiles.

“Are you refugees?”

“Not yet. But are you receiving refugees? We might have to take you up on the offer in the future.”

We smile back, he is just being funny. Passports are stamped and our new friend welcomes us into his country. He thought it was crazy to be walking into countries so he orders a car who was also crossing the border to give us a lift into the next town.

Today there are thousands of displaced humans who are crossing borders on foot, others who are waiting at camps and many who became our neighbors and live in our cities. Thousands who unlike me aren’t out on a beautiful adventure, humans who unlike me actually are refugees.

Let’s not forget about them. Let’s extend a helping hand. Let’s lift up the borders of our lives and let’s give them a chance.

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