Life and Work of Jonathan Yost Honored
By Mario A. Cortez
Activists and community members gathered at Chicano Park this Friday, June 14, at a vigil in remembrance of Border Angels water drop director Yonathan Yost.
Yost was the original director of the Border Angels water drop program when opened to the public in 2016. The program consists of volunteer missions to leave water bottles and other life saving-supplies along desert routes traversed by immigrants coming into the United States. The main cause of death along desert routes is dehydration.
In his academic life, Yost was a master’s student at the UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy, focusing on immigration-related issues.
At the site, close friends and colleagues gathered around a portrait of Yost to celebrate his life’s work. Those present could also leave a note on a painting remembering his labor.
Border Angels volunteer Jessica Aguirre went on her first water drop with Yost. She remembers Jonathan’s empathy and passion about saving lives.
“Going on the water drops opened my eyes to the suffering migrants suffer and the belief that everybody should have the same right to a cup of water,” Aguirre shared. “He also motivated me to become a route leader.”
Border Angels advanced water drop director James Cordero worked side by side with Yost on excursions to particularly tough terrain. Beyond just being a colleague, he saw Yost as a close friend.
”When you’re out there, you develop a bond and you become a family; and when you lose a member of your family you hurt, and we ‘re all hurt having lost him,” he shared.
A GoFundMe campaign in Yost’s memory has been set up by his classmates. All proceeds will go to continuing Border Angels’s humanitarian and advocacy work.