It was a trip that only lasted nine days but one that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
I was born in raised in Texas and have lived for many years along the border. But I’ve never seen the entire Texas side of the border until I took a trip with my friend Lupita.
I’m a journalist working for KGBT-TV in Harlingen and she’s a government professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Our work using social media to cover and research Mexico’s drug war overlapped in many areas.
Both of us had followed daily gun battles, vicious kidnappings, and the macabre body count south of the border for the past five years. The two of us watched as American tourism to the region dropped off.
We talked about “seeing the border” for months but we finally made it a reality just after Memorial Day. Our goal was to see every international border crossing along the Texas border from Brownsville to El Paso.
That’s at a total of 28 international bridges, four international railroad crossings, one international ferry and one international rowboat. It was a very ambitious journey in a short amount of time.
As it turns out, Texas takes up 1,254 miles of the 1,900-mile border between Mexico and the United States. The 3,000-mile round trip spanned 16 counties on the Texas side and four states on the Mexican side.
Although we drove along the Texas side for safety reasons, there were several excursions into Mexico. It was a trip filled with contrasts from rich to poor and fast-paced development to breathtaking wilderness.
We saw the effects of the drug war first-hand, but also the promise of hope and economic development.
Borderzine has given us the opportunity to share our photos and experiences.
We’ll be writing a series of 12 blogs. I’ll be writing 12 of them in English and Lupita will write 12 in Spanish. Each blog will feature a different geographic region of the border with its many contrasts.
We hope you enjoy the photos and our field notes!