After visiting with our friends in Tombstone, Arizona, we passed through Bisbee once again, to collect some veggie and stop for a bite to eat, then head south for the border, with plans to cross the next day.

We drove to Douglas, Arizona, a town that borders Agua Priete on the Mexican side. Once in town, we did some errands, stopping at Walmart to pick up a few groceries (unfortunately the only grocery option in town.) It was located within a couple hundred of feet from the Wall that separates Mexico and the U.S.

It wasn't surprising to find the majority of shoppers and workers had a Latin complexion. We were a little surprised to discover that our cashier actually lives in Mexico. She comes across everyday to work, and then returns home to her country. Earning in dollars, spending in pesos. That's the way to do it. 🙂

We splurged on a few luxury items (like Greek yogurt) knowing it may be the last time for such indulgences. Then we went in search of a campsite.

We located what we thought was a pretty good spot, pulled out our kitchen and started cooking up dinner.

It wasn't long before a border patrol officer pulled up and sauntered over to talk with us.

"If I were you, I wouldn't camp here. You can if you want, but see that ditch over there (about 10 feet from our truck), that's a high traffic area. In fact there are a few illegals in there right now that the patrol is chasing. Once the sun sets, it gets even busier."

Greg talked to him for awhile, asking lots of questions. He discovered that:

  • this particular border is especially active
  • there are several people who try and cross the border every day
  • if a first or second attempt, fingerprints are taken and then they are let go on the Mexican side
  • others with more of a criminal record are held in a facility nearby
  • in this patrol's opinion, 'they are not dangerous, and it's not dangerous to cross into Mexico'. They're just trying to get across to find work, etc.
  • no barbed wire or dogs are used along the Wall because of medical liability. If someone was hurt, then taxpayer's dollars would be spent on their medical care (makes sense except that they're instead spending millions of dollars every year on border patrol salaries, four wheelers, horses and helicopters, not to mention the network of cameras that have the place covered...????)
  • people do try to sneak into Mexico

We finished our dinner, then visited the Wall ourselves (and made this video), before finding ourselves another place to sleep for the night.

Curious, there is no wall separating Canada from the U.S. Why was so much of taxpayer's money spent on building a Wall hundreds of miles long (the entire length?) between the U.S. and Mexico? What's the difference? Is it economy?

What's the difference between this Wall, and the Berlin Wall, or the Great Wall of China (built to keep out the Mongolians)? Isn't it just another attempt at dividing humanity?

Call me an idealist, but from my perspective in camp that night, with a nearly full moon shining down on me and Mexico, it looked like a landscape made by God that no one could divide, even with a Great Big Wall.

And from my personal experience, even though we speak a different language, and have varying colors of skin, all people are people just like me (many of them much better, especially in Mexico).

Perhaps it is just as a friend (American living in Mexico) commented to me later - the Wall is built to keep Americans out, so they don't spoil Mexico. Hmmm, maybe I agree.

  Let me in!

What do you think about the Great Wall of Mexico?



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5 Responses

  1. Josh

    Most Mexicans are harmless and are only looking to better themselves and their lives, this is part of the American dream and very admirable the struggles they go through to fulfill their needs. The fence is a ridiculous waste of tax payer money. The fence is a lot like other laws we have… only put in place to make the naive feel safe. You can hardly compare the Mexican border to the Canadian border. In the ideal world we would all be living in harmony, but thanks to the drug cartels’ they have plagued most of Northern Mexico with their violence and murders. Thankfully most of it is a war against each other, but death after death proves that no one is safe. There is hardly the drug trade coming through Canada, and the violence on the Canadian border is extremely low. You’re right, I’m sure a lot of it does come down to economies, which is a big reason why crime spurs in the first place. It’s so unfortunate because Mexico is a beautiful place. Hopefully this mess will pass and get cleaned up just as Colombia did, but for now, things keep getting worse all across Mexico and further south. Maybe it’s not economy as much as it is lawlessness of the land?

    It’s easy to get caught up with the ideology you mention when you’re in southern AZ in it’s breathtaking scenery. Unfortunately we live in a world where borders need to be secure, just like your home… or vehicle. I’m glad you’re enjoying AZ though! I live there and spend a lot of time down south and around the deserts, and have even camped right on the border. Make sure you get a lot of good sunset pics, they’re hard to beat!

    • Rachel

      Thanks for your comment Josh!

      I agree with a lot of what you said. Yes, the drug trafficking is probably a big contributor to the wall. As for the violence and ‘war’ and death (or lawlessness)…haven’t seen any of it (we are actually in Mexico already – Lake Chapala). We have seen lots of Policia though, very nice guys. Everyone we’ve talked to along the way who lives here – they haven’t seen any of he bad stuff either.

      They compared it to saying there is a drug war in New York, but traveling through the rest of the U.S. – you’re completely safe because it’s entirely localized.

      Loved Arizona!

  2. Matt

    I disagree with Josh. They come over and make the dollars. Go spen them where they don’t count for us. I am an economics retard and can see that is not right.

    • Rachel

      I guess I shouldn’t travel then, since I’m earning U.S. dollars and spending them in other countries. But since I’m not interested in ONLY the improvement of the U.S. economy, I’m okay with that. I’m happy to share the U.S.’s abundance with the rest of the world. I’ve seen the family’s who are benefiting from it, and it’s a beautiful thing.

  3. RonnieDHS

    Please, I grew up in Douglas, went to school and college there.  Douglas is a beautiful serene place to live.  Great place to raise your kids.  A lot of “Mexican” people (like me) work and live in Douglas.  There are persons who live in Mexico and “LEGALLY” work in Douglas.  Many, many persons living in Mexico cross the border legally every day to spend their pesos in Douglas, this is why Walmart is doing so well.  Anyone living in the US with relatives in another country send money home.  Why should Mexico be any different?  I am very saddened that the narcotics trade and violence is what it is in Mexico and hope that the demand for drugs from other countries, including the USA goes away so that there will be no reason for narcotics to cross the border.  Pipe dream, I know, but never hurts to hope.


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