The Rio Grande separates us from them here at Boquillas in the Big Bend of West Texas. It is one of our favorite places. On a previous visit, we waved at a Mexican on the other side and he ferried us across ($2 both ways) and we visited a small village in Mexico. After a fine lunch, ordered with pantomime and smiles, we walked to the local one room schoolhouse where we were welcomed by the schoolmaster and his students with more pantomime and smiles. We returned to the U.S. in late afternoon, and no one arrested us for leaving and entering the country illegally. We left memories of some friendly gringos, and returned with a renewed appreciation for the brotherhood of mankind. This little voyage across the Rio Grande contributed to our desire to meet the peoples of our world on their terms, on their land, and to show that Americans are pretty much like them, just luckier, richer. Our tandem bicycle trips across the world proved our belief that we all are much more alike than we are different.
It appears we may someday soon see a fence on our side of the Rio Grande. Perhaps it will keep out a few cheap laborers, a few drug smugglers, a child on a donkey chasing his mother’s cow… What will it cost us?