By Karen Burrington, '21
Dr. John Hunter is a father, physicist and conservative Republican. He also happens to be the founder of Water Stations, a nonprofit focused on saving lives. More specifically, its mission is to “reduce the risk of heat-related death of any individuals crossing the Southern California desert and surrounding areas” by deploying and maintaining water stations along the border’s deserts.
For John, the question of saving lives or knowingly allowing people to die isn’t political. For him, all human life is precious. His wife, Laura Celina Hunter, is a mother, retired teacher and proud liberal. Born and raised in Mexico, Laura has dedicated her life to Water Stations since its founding in 2000.
While in San Diego, we were welcomed into the home of these two inspiring individuals to learn about their work. It was an honor to witness their love. In culture, politics and country of origin, Laura and John stand divided. What unites them, however, is so much stronger. They share a dedication to each other and to humanity, which transcends borders, politics and race.
We live in a time of increasing divisiveness.
It is so much easier to hate those who differ from us than to find common ground. You don’t understand why “those people” can’t just enter the U.S. legally? You can’t comprehend why Republicans/Democrats hold their clearly misinformed beliefs? Don’t dig deeper, says conventional wisdom. Don’t ask questions. Just hate.
Outside it began to pour, and Laura and John thanked us for bringing the rain. In San Diego, water is hope. I wanted to thank them for the same. Laura and John are my source of hope.
Learn how you can help. Visit waterstations.org.
Read other Justice in January reflections here. Battle at the Border: Justice in January