Thursday, February 3, 2011

Boquillas Del Carmen

While plant life on the eastern side of Big Bend National Park may seem inhospitable, just across the border, the small pueblo of Boquillas Del Carmen is full of friendly people who had a close relationship with tourists as they enjoyed man powered boat rides across the Rio Grande to take pictures, sample local food, and gather souvenirs and memories. That was, of course, until 2002 when the US government closed the crossing for security purposes. The town's economy has been devastated ever since.

Today, as you take the road to view Boquillas Canyon, you may see some treasures perched on a rock near an overlook. Wire scorpions, necklaces, and hand painted walking sticks are among the items to be found.
A note next to a donation cup asks for support to help the citizens of Boquillas Del Carmen for any items taken. It's on the honor system.

Tourists may find a walking stick that is just right for them as they wander around these parts.

No . . . this isn't a raiding party coming across the river . . . it's merely Sylvestre Sanchez, who has been patiently watching from across the river, resupplying the treasure rock with walking sticks.
Sylvestre and his trusty steed pose for a photo with a happy tourist.

Down at Boquillas Canyon itself, you will find mortar holes dug into the river bank rocks by ancient Indian civilizations, used to grind and process grain. You'll also get a good view of the Rio Grande as it meanders through a deep fissure cut through the land on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2012, an updated border crossing to Boquillas Del Carmen should open, once again allowing folks to enjoy a bit of the flavor of Old Mexico . . .

1 comment:

Fred said...

Great photos of an amazing place. Good commentary as well. I can hardly wait to see the excitement as the citizens of Boquillas del Carmen are once again allowed to accept visitors from our country while also being allowed to visit our country in order to replenish their supplies of food and gasoline. Thanks for the great blog Pete!