Families reunited at border for Children's Day

SAN DIEGO - It was an emotional reunion at the border Sunday as dozens of families came face-to-face with their loved ones who some have not seen in years.

It was a remarkable moment for Rodolfo Islas. He saw his father for the first time in six years.

"It's so nice. I'm so happy to be here today. This is something beautiful for us," said Islas.

He drove 55 hours across the country from New Jersey. His father, on the other side of the border, flew in from Mexico City.

"It's not easy," said Islas. "We came to this country to look for a better opportunity to work hard and do the best we can but you pay too much, like being separated with your family."

Then, there was a special moment for a mother and daughter. 10News cameras captured Jannet Castanon's mother kissing her finger through the border fencing. It has been seven years since she has seen her mother but it seems like an eternity.

"When my mom kissed my finger, I felt like she's here, like she's right here beside me," said Castanon.

The gathering at Friendship Park marks Children's Day, which is a holiday in Latin American countries. Volunteers brought toys for children on both sides of the border.

Children from the King Chavez choir sang songs in Spanish as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer talked about the importance of bonding.

"This is Friendship Park. It's about the friendship between our two countries, between our two great cities, but most importantly the friendship between our families and our children," said Faulconer.

Last year, the Border Patrol opened both gates and families were able to hug. This year, that did not happen. Families say they hope one day there will not be a need for fencing.

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