crossing the (border)line?

In my newsletter outlining the best travel deals on the Web, I just read about an resort / eco-park in central Mexico that allows tourists to simulate crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. National Geographic seems to think it might be some sort of subversive attempt to highlight the struggles of local immigrants. My first impression (which is not necessarily my current opinion) was that it makes light of a horrible humanitarian crisis along our borders. Good, clean fun? Over the line? Read the Kayak description and decide for yourself:

Immigration and border patrol seems to be at the top of every political conversation. At Parque EcoAlberto, you can go on a pretend ‘Night Border Crossing Experience.’ The parque is owned by the Hnahnu Indians in Hidalgo, about three hours from Mexico City. The $18, four-hour night hike starts with the Mexico National Anthem. Your ‘coyote’ guide, Pancho, pulls off his black ski mask while actors gather around to scare you senseless along the way. Run from border control agents; dodge hidden actors shooting (blanks) at you, and make your way through barbed-wire fences. Survivors are blindfolded, led across a rickety bridge, and then set free to run across the border to freedom!

(here’s a Metro article about the park)


3 responses to this post.

  1. what the…

    and i thought the christian theme park in israel was a bad idea!



  2. Do they rape the women? Cause that happens during border crossings as well.

    Who thinks up this stuff. Seriously.


  3. My first response is similar to you – horror that someone would make a “park” out of this, much like the Katrina “disaster tours,” which were pretty darn offensive to people volunteering there as well as the outraged residents. I guess whether or not my response changed would depend on how people react and continue to think about the experience coming out of it. Do they recognize the seriousness, the danger, the terror and the inhumanity of this experience? Or do they consider it a good “game,” playing at being illegal for a night? The park certainly seems to take the stance that it is trying to make people aware of the situation and honor those who cross … I wonder how it comes out in the end.


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