Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico is located directly across the Rio Grande River, near the Village Camground in Big Bend. In days past, $2.00 would get you a boat ride across the river and you get ride a donkey to the local cantina for a warm beer and a burrito. Those days are gone now since 9-11 with the border closing.
Update 3/27 from a Big Bend Blog:
Boquillas Border Crossing?
"In the happy, peaceful, carefree world before 9-11, there was a border crossing in Big Bend National Park, specifically at Boquillas. The Mexican locals had long used this convenient gateway to the United States to sell handmade items to park visitors and to buy food, while Americans could use the crossing to safely pass into Mexico. The multicultural feel of Big Bend was evident through free trade and a mixing of ideas, items, and languages. In May of 2002, that crossing was closed by Homeland Security, and stayed that way since. But will that be changing soon?
The Department of Homeland Security is now planning to open the crossing this year, hoping to again provide a safe and convenient Port of Entry between Big Bend and Boquillas del Carmen. This news is not, well, new. The announcement has been floating around since the beginning of this year, and it's been on display on the official National Park Service planning site since February.
The possible benefits for the park are obvious. There would be more travel to and from the park area, meaning more convenient businesses would be established in the region. Seeing Mexican traders in the visitor areas again may be refreshing to some of you, and a great way to buy souvenirs. Biologists and naturalists have long wanted the crossing to reopen for them to better study the movement of animals in the region, since birds and coyotes know no boundaries. Remembering that the next closest port of entry is over one hundred miles away, we can see how this crossing will be useful for many on both the American and Mexican sides.
But are there also dangers for this crossing? Border officials say no, since those using the port would have to present the proper papers, even if through a digital camera (with a Border Officer on the other side). But one must stop and wonder...
"Just a week and a half ago, on March 12, Park officials were called to investigate a broken down truck on Black Gap Road. They found 2,179 pounds of marijuana inside, stored in metal strong boxes. The vehicle had been abandoned and the owners had walked back south to Mexico.
That's just an example of the drug trafficking going on all the time. Will it affect the opening of the border crossing? Time will tell. Of course, it's important to note that this truck crossed without an official Port of Entry, and increased presence of Border Officials in and around the park may serve as a deterrent."
Big Bend National ParkBoquillas del Carmencasita adventures