Austin attorney Mike Hull grabbed his backpack, water bottle, baseball cap and cellphone to start his solo walk at the Texas-Mexico border at 5 a.m. Thursday.
Hull started the trip on Boca Chica Beach and hopes to arrive in El Paso by Thanksgiving. With the “Walk of Hope” he wants to see whether the border is safe or not. He said he wants to see the face of fear and listen to the stories of asylum seekers and people who live along the border.
“I want to walk and listen, listen to the people along the border and see what they have to say,” Hull said. “People have been so nice (here), they have been welcoming and inviting, sharing experiences and very, very kind.”
The attorney said the idea started after he read an article about one of the detention facilities for the children who come seeking asylum in the United States. He said he is very interested in that topic and even though he is not fluent in Spanish, he knows “enough to get in trouble.”
“I want to see how we treat the children. Are we proud of how we welcome those (who) come with their hope, who ask for our help?” he said in a statement about the walk. “I want to walk and listen and offer my hope.”
Hull plans to walk at least 20 miles each day along the border. In his backpack, he is carrying a tent to sleep in, one change of clothes, a rain jacket, a sleeping bag, a device that tracks him and some food.
“I plan to get up, eat, walk and listen to people. Get about 20 miles and then stop,” he said. “I want to listen to everybody who would talk to me and I want to listen in a particular way. I would like to just listen … I want to share what I hear.”
The solo walker will be sharing his journey on social media and can be found as “This Land 2019” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“One of the stories I’ve been touched by is from a friend who lives in Mexico City and we talk about this walk and whatever happens, happens, but at the end of the day I’ll get to El Paso, have a meal and go home,” Hull said. “As compared to these kids who are here from Central America and it is a hard trip, under any circumstances, and they end up in detention facilities, if things go well.”