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FRIDAY, October 25

​9:00 am    Tijuana's Cultural Center, CECUT 
6:30 pm    Dinner at Chef Javier Plascencia's Mission 19

8:00 pm    Return to San Diego

Today we head into the vibrant, teeming, and creative city of Tijuana.  Our bi-national conurbation is the second-largest shared between the US and another country, and with over 5 million inhabitants, the fourth largest in the world - with downtown Tijuana crammed tightly against the border fence.  We'll spend this entire first day south of the border.  Bring your passport, your curiosity, and your appetite for examining cross border housing strategies, the emergence of Tijuana artists as leaders in the national discourse, and the mutating challenges of immigration reform.  


Not to mention sampling some of the very best food in the region!

Needless to say, passports are essential to participation in this south-of-the-border day.


The CECUT is a cultural center in the Zona Río district of Tijuana, Mexico. Founded in 1982, it is the institution that concentrates the widest and most diverse cultural offering in Mexico's northwest region, and the only infrastructure of the Ministry of Culture, formerly the National Council for Culture and the Arts, outside the capital of the country. It is dedicated to the artistic and cultural needs of the population, through programs that include various artistic manifestations and themes of traditional and contemporary culture.

8:00 am     Bread & Salt for coffee and boxed breakfast


9:00 am      Depart for Tijuana

                     We will travel to Tijuana in two buses, each with a docent                             who will orient you to the area and the day’s activities on

                     the 18-mile ride. After disembarking to clear customs,                                   we will re-board the bus for the short ride to CECUT.


10:30 am    Welcome to CECUT

10:45 am   Panel on Bi-National Artist Organizations and Artists*

12:00 pm    Light lunch 

12:30 pm   Housing Panel - Life at the Border*

1:45 pm     Experience CECUT

2:30 pm      Walking Tour of Downtown Tijuana

                     Led by the architects from the Housing Tijuana panel, we                             will break into 4-5 groups for a stretching-of-the-legs                                     walking tour of Downtown Tijuana.


3:30 pm      Short bus ride to Playa Tijuana (the beach at the border) 

4:15 pm     Panel on Migration*

6:30 pm      Dinner at Chef Javier Plascencia's Misión 19

DAY 2 PANEL information

10:45 am

Bi-National Artist Organizations + Artists

The economic recession of 2007-2009, coupled with increasing crime, caused a complete drying up of tourism in Tijuana.  Many tourist-centric shops permanently closed their doors.  The pain was acute in Tijuana, but out of this struggle a new internal blossom began to develop.  Artists took over those abandoned shops and started an art scene that has now spread across the border into San Diego and beyond.

Moderated by Mely Barragan

12:30 pm


As borders harden between nations with economic, social and ideological imbalances, Tijuana uncovers a city in constant reinvention. Away from a centralized nation and deeply influenced by its neighbor, California, the 5th largest economy of the world, Tijuana settles at this imbalance opportunistically and manages to build a future, with an air of optimism, forms to coexist and reinvent life at the border. 

Moderated by Adriana Cuéllar , CRO Studio


José Antonio Díaz, Provive
Nora Marquez, Architect / Urban Planner

Oscar Romo, Architect / Radio Host / Artist

4:15 pm


This open-air panel examines the pressures placed on the citizens of adjacent countries when a physical barrier separates them. By its very nature a zone of enforcement causes extreme stresses on citizens. There are additional and quantifiable stresses placed upon our natural resources as well - rivers and watersheds are interrupted, and harmony between allies is impacted. It is within this context that we discuss the need for regional unity and propose a bi-national park to remind citizens of both countries that our friendship is invaluable.  
Moderated by John Fanestil


Paulina Olvera Canez, Espacio Migrante

Pedro Rios

Maria Teresa Fernandez

Paulina Olvera Cáñez

TJ Panels

Dinner: Misión 19

If there’s one Tijuana restaurant that consistently makes all the Top 10 Restaurant lists, it’s Chef Javier Plascencia’s Misión 19. Plascencia has said that the mission of Misión 19 was to "revitalize the food scene in Tijuana, and revitalize the city itself." After traveling the world in search of different flavors, ingredients and types of cuisine, he returned to his hometown of Tijuana to consolidate what would become his own signature, “Baja Mediterranean” style.


Misión 19 has been covered by the New York Times, Anthony BourdainSunset Magazine and The New Yorker, to name a few.

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