{ I S S U E Ø P R E V I E W }

By Seth Putnam

For $5, a man will row you across the Rio Grande to a tiny Mexican town called Boquillas del Carmen.

Just before we arrived in Texas, the US government re-opened this defunct crossing about 145 miles south of Marfa in the bottom crook of Big Bend National Park. The port of entry had been closed for 11 years—since shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, a faraway event that bizarrely wrecked life in Boquillas by slamming the door to tourists.

The tiny town used to cater to Americans who were visiting Big Bend and wanted to pop across, have some tacos and a cerveza, and say they’d been to Mexico.

Just before the US door clanged shut, Morales tells me, 300 people called Boquillas home. Now, there are about 135.

One man gives his opinion on why so many people risk their lives crossing the border. “It’s desperation,” he says. “If you cross the border, there is always the chance to make a dollar. You can do things that maybe Americans don’t want to do anymore.”

To read the full story, shop Issue Ø at www.collectivequarterly.com. #alwaysgo

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