The resort where we’ve been staying for the past year’s weekend getaways.
We love the beach. How perfect that we found a beach four hours south of Phoenix across the border in Mexico. With wide expanses of a white sandy beach, calm warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, we thought we found paradise.
Until this past weekend. It’s paradise until it’s not.
Two things freaked me out.
First, crossing the corder at a Lukeville, which is out in the middle of nowhere on the south side of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, I saw something I’ve never seen in the dozen or so times we’ve been there.
There were a thousand men lined up on foot to cross into the United States from Mexico. There were no women or children. They were young, all colors and presumably nationalities. I’ve seen news of massive border crossings in Texas, but nothing at Lukeville. This was the first time I’ve noticed anyone on foot.
Next, we had to run the gauntlet in the desperately poor town on the Mexican side of the border. Usually it’s without incident, but it’s shocking to see people living in abject poverty. It’s nothing like our lives in the United States. The speed limit is 25 mph which the signs say 40 kmh. We have to drive through window washers who jump in front of our car with a spray bottle. People are begging in wheel chairs, missing limbs. It’s so sad.
Once through the town the speed limit increases slowly. We were last in line of about seven cars and trucks when red lights flashed behind us. We pulled on the shoulder to let the vehicle pass, but it stopped behind us! We were pulled over in Mexico.
For what, we had no idea.
We were approached by two burly Mexican cops who told us to roll down all the windows, asked for my husband’s driver’s license and told us we had been speeding at 60 kmh. (Not true.)
They said they’d write a ticket and we had to pay at the courthouse before we continued. My husband asked where it was. They said they’d show us but they’d keep the driver’s license until we paid. Oh — and the courthouse was closed for the next two or three hours.
But they could do us a favor. Pay them $160 American dollars, they’d return the license and we could be on our way. Which we did.
It made us angry, but what else could we do? End up in a Mexican jail for not paying? Now I’m fearful of the drive back. We need to find an ATM in case we need cash again at the border town. I’ll be happy to be back in the USA.
However, I have some empathy for the people living in the squalor of the border town watching countless Americans driving through to get to the beach resorts an hour away — driving luxury cars, trucks and RVs. Pulling people over all day long for $160 a pop is a decent living.
It took us a bit of time to relax. We ate delicious meals, walked the beach and read.
Here are a few photos:
Would you want to come back anytime soon? Would you be afraid? Why or why not?