Border Odyssey: Travels along the U.S./Mexico Divide by Charles D., Jr. Thompson

By Charles D., Jr. Thompson

"We have been attempting to swap the imaginative and prescient and the dialog approximately border fears."

Border Odyssey takes us on a force towards knowing the U.S./Mexico divide: all 1,969 miles—from Boca Chica to Tijuana—pressing on with the necessary fiction of a map.

"We had to visit where the place numerous blameless humans have been kicked, stubborn, spit on, arrested, detained, trafficked, and killed. it should develop into transparent that the border, la frontera, used to be extra multifaceted and profound than whatever shall we have invented approximately it from afar."

Along the adventure, 5 centuries of cultural heritage (indigenous, French, Spanish, Mexican, African American, colonist, and U.S.), wars, and laws spread. and during remark, dialog, and meditation, Border Odyssey scopes the tales of the folks and cities on either sides.

"Stories are the other of partitions: they call for unlock, retelling, exhibiting, connecting, every one photograph chipping away at obstacles. partitions are complete stops. yet tales are like commas, consistently making attainable the following clause."

Among the terrain traversed: partitions and extra partitions, unforeseen roadblocks and patrol officials; a golfing direction (you may well force a ball around the border); a Civil battle battlefield (you may well camp there); the southernmost plantation within the usa; a hand-drawn ferry, a road-runner tracked barren region, and a wide ranging nationwide park; barbed twine, bridges, and a trucking-trade thoroughfare; ghosts with weapons; obscured, unmarked, and unpaved roads; a Catholic priest and his canines, paintings, icons, and political cartoons; a sheriff and a chain-smoking mayor; a Tex-Mex eatery empty of consumers and a B&B shuttering its doorways; murder-laden newspaper headlines at breakfast; the kindness of the border-crossing underground; and too many aged, impoverished, ex-U.S. farmworkers, braceros, covered as much as have Thompson take their photograph.

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Extra resources for Border Odyssey: Travels along the U.S./Mexico Divide

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He said, running toward the building. Less than a minute later, rain fell so hard we could barely see the road. Creeping along westward with the windshield wipers not keeping up, I bumped the dashboard with the heel of my hand. ” I had realized then that I couldn’t talk about our trip along the border without including the Border Patrol front and center. I knew it would be the first of many encounters, and so I wanted to start documenting them right away. / Mexico interchange. S. ” That meant a huge change, but it was not the first revamping.

The gentle rhythm of the Gulf waves and the mild ocean breeze, along with the view in front of us of three Mexican fishermen, likely a father and two sons, casting a net, calmed my nerves almost instantly. I let my shoulders drop and took off my shoes, as if to let my stress run out of my legs and into the sand. The sand was cool and soft, the waves gentle, the water inviting. While planning the trip, I’d imagined confrontations in a no-man’sland with border guards in black uniforms, fences, spotlights, motion detectors, and signs warning of dire consequences: violators will be prosecuted, no photographs!

New venom spewed on talk radio and TV. New vigilante groups sprang up. We began holding the line even more, and the Border Patrol numbers shot up to twenty thousand, which included new recruits like Officer Johnson stationed on Route 4. Boca Chica wasn’t the first place where I had been stopped by Border Patrol officers. I’d gone through numerous roadblocks while driving in Arizona in previous summers, often with groups of students in a BorderLinks van.

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