Weekly Photo Challenge – Near and Far
This week’s challenge reminded me of the spot where I have been near to another place while in another respect, being very, very far from it.
In 2002, the other informal crossings of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend area were abruptly closed, resulting in a stretch of almost 400 miles (on the Texas side) with no legal crossing point. (The Mexican side is mountainous and has fewer roads, so the distance to legal points of entrance is even further. )
Tourists from Michigan and Canada could no longer cross to ride burros and have some enchiladas and a cerveza in Mexico. The Mexican villagers in this sparsely populated area lost a major source of income, and the owners of the little stores on the Texas side lost regular customers.
Many people on the Texas side have tried to remedy this situation. Volunteers drive all the way around on rough roads, to reach the villages, bring their products back legally, and sell them on the US side, with all proceeds going back to the craftspeople. Other people have researched and lobbied to have a crossing reopened. If you are interested in their efforts, here is a great article about the Boquillas crossing.
It’s an odd situation when abrupt decisions and circumstances separate us from places and people we’re used to. That’s what the phrase “near and far” meant to me.