Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico

Big Bend National Park is a wild and remote place and was a favorite destination of my father’s. On the far side of the Rio Grande lies the tiny village of Boquillas del Carmen. For years the river crossing was open and villagers benefited from tourists wanting to see their town or to have drinks and dinner at the cantina. I was fortunate to make the crossing once with my dad in the ’60’s. We forged the river on burros and spent the day photographing the village and the people. In 2011 the World Trade Center crumbled in New York and the impact of that attack rippled all the way across the land and struck little Boquillas. Fear indefinitely closed the crossing and the villagers, no longer allowed to sell their wares to the tourists across the river, struggled to survive. The already small population dwindled to less than twenty families living desperately poor lives. On our last visit several young Mexicans waded illegally across the shallows and approached Lindsay and me, hoping we would be brave enough to buy a walking stick they had whittled. We bought two and paid them twenty dollars, nearly twice the going rate but far less than the fine we would have paid if a park ranger had arrested us for buying contraband. The men were hungry; how could we not help? Good news, though – the crossing is scheduled to reopen this month, although boats will replace the burros. Hopefully life will improve for the families of Boquillas.

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7 thoughts on “Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico

  1. Most of these I remember well but some I can’t remember seeing before. They must be some of his negatives he did not print. Brings back beautiful memories this New Years Day.

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