Boquillas del Carmen

I spent a lovely day in Boquillas Mexico. I was rowed over the Rio Grande and instead of taking the offered burro ride, I walked 3/4 mile into town. I bought a beaded roadrunner, and had a great lunch on a patio overlooking the Rio Grande.

I found Boquillas history compelling. Around the turn of the 20th century up to 2000 people lived in here. The principal employment was related to the production of lead, silver and fluorite ore from nearby mines. Mining ceased in 1919 and the town’s population rapidly declined.

Efforts began in the 1930s to create a United States-Mexico International Peace Park in the area, joining Big Bend National Park with the Maderas del Carmen in Coahuila. Boquillas del Carmen would have been at the center of this proposed international peace park, but these efforts have not been realized.

The events of September 11, 2001, dramatically affected Boquillas del Carmen’s 20th-century way of life. In May 2002, the border crossing from Big Bend National Park to Boquillas was closed indefinitely. 5 years later only 19 families comprising around 90 to 100 residents remained in Boquillas. Most of the town’s residents had been forced to move away by the closure of the tourist crossing and destruction of the town’s traditional economy.

After multiple delays, the new Boquillas Port of Entry was officially opened on 10 April 2013. Since opening of the border crossing, the town of Boquillas del Carmen has seen substantial growth with the addition of electricity (from solar panels), a new medical care office, and enhancements at the public elementary school. The village’s population is now said to be about 200 persons.

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