Big Bend National Park: crossing into Boquillas del Carmen

    Newer Older

    This is the home-made ferry used to carry US tourists into Mexico and residents of Boquillas del Carmen, Coahuila, into th US for work. Unfortunately, this unofficial border crossing was closed in the aftermath of 9/11. This puts a tremendous hardship on the residents of Boquillas del Carmen who are dependent on access to the National Park for work and on cross-river tourism for income. Now, Mexicans wade across the river to the U.S. side at favorite tourist spots to sell tourist trinkets. Once a park ranger or an immigration official approaches, they just wade back across the river. How that improves homeland security, I do not know. (Taken in December 1997)

    Update January 2011: Mexicans now leave small displays with one or two dozen items close to the river with a recycled plastic bottle for "donations." Sellers come across the river on horseback on a regular basis to check on their displays and to pick up the money. According to press reports, the small border crossing at Boquillas will be reopened in April 2012.

    1. J Centavo 78 months ago | reply

      sad sign of the times...I used to go across there when I was in college in Alpine.

    2. zug55 78 months ago | reply

      We crossed here many times ourselves. Now US citizens are no longer allowed to cross, but Mexicans still cross over wherever the river is not too deep to cross--in fact they do more so than before. So the new policy does not address any of our issues it is intended to address. Only that life on the border has become harder, as if it wasn't already hard enough.

    3. paradizeseaker 76 months ago | reply

      I miss going to Boquillas for a cold beer (sort of when they had ice) when on that end of the park. One time I gave a owner of one of the bars in Boquillas a ride from the store at Rio Grande Village to this crossing he had meet the beer truck at the store and was sitting by road with 20 cases of beer hitchin a ride to the ferry

    4. Richard Flores 66 months ago | reply

      Great photo and wonderful story

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts