EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Good Friday is approaching fast and the Mt. Cristo Rey Restoration Committee is making its preparations by clearing out the area of any debris. However, more migrants have crossed into that area and have left items along the trail, raising concerns for those who walk up the mountain.

With thousands of people expected to make the pilgrimage, the Restoration Committee plans to work alongside Border Patrol to ensure safety is a top priority come Good Friday. Spokesperson Ruben Escandon says they have worked diligently to make sure the trail is clear.

“There were clothes and a lot of debris on the trail. The migrants change on the way down. Of course when Border Patrol is up here, you know it’s a joint effort to clean up after them but this is what were doing today and the rest of the week, we’ll be up here,” Escandon said.

Border Patrol will be there patrolling the area alongside Sunland Park Police to safeguard the area. Agent Orlando Marrero does want the public to be aware of their surroundings when making their way up the mountain.

“We encourage the community or the participants of the pilgrimage to stay vigilant. If they see something, say something. Call Border Patrol call 911 or reach out for a uniform law enforcement officer,” Marrero said.

Despite the concerns, a large crowd is expected to make the pilgrimage up Mt. Cristo Rey in observance of Good Friday.

“This is the second largest pilgrimage. Between 8 to 10,000 people, that’s the average in the past and of course with the pandemic that hit, the numbers have dwindled and this year hopefully we get a good crowd back here and we get a lot of people that visit,” Escandon said.

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