Fronteras Desk contributor Lorne Matalon reports that the U.S.-Mexico border crossing at Boquillas, in the Big Bend National Park in West Texas, officially re-opened Wednesday morning.
As texashighways.com reports,
The United States and Mexican governments opened the Boquillas border crossing on Wednesday, reestablishing tourist access between the two countries in Big Bend National Park.
A rowboat will ferry visitors across the Rio Grande at the Port of Boquillas, which is in the southeastern section of the park near Rio Grande Village. The crossing had been closed since 2002, when the United States shut it down in the aftermath of 9/11.
Boquillas is the only port of entry between Presidio and Del Rio, which are about 300 miles apart. For visitors entering Mexico, the crossing provides access to the village of Boquillas and the protected areas of Maderas del Carmen, Ocampo, and Cañon de Santa Elena.
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Mexican nationals on the south side of the Rio Grande at Boquillas, Mex.
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The village of Boquillas, Mex., as seen from a path leading from the Rio Grande into Big Bend National Park, Texas.
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A Mexican citizen paddles his canoe from the northern shoreline of the Rio Grande into Coahuila, Mex. near Boquillas.
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A Mexican citizen walks to Boquillas after crossing into Mexico from Big Bend National Park, Texas.
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Victor Valdez waves from Coahuila, Mex., near the village of Boquillas. His lyrical a capella voice echoes across Boquillas Canyon.
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The gate leading to the river crossing into northern Mexico near the village of Boquillas, Coahuila.
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People entering the United States from Boquillas, Mexico will walk up this path. Note the video cameras mounted above the border station.
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People crossing into Texas from Boquillas, Mexico will have their passports scanned at these machines. Agents in El Paso, Texas will communicate with visitors by phone.
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An exterior view of the border station, known as a Port of Entry. Mexico is to the left, the United States is to the right.
As Fronteras Desk reported in January
, the tiny Mexican village of Boquillas had 300 residents before the border crossing was sealed. Now it has 120. There is hope the re-opening of the crossing will spur economic activity on both sides of the border.
The crossing station itself is unmanned. To enter the U.S., travelers will pick up the phone and show documents on a video link to Customs and Border Protection officials in El Paso.
See more photos from the border crossing re-opening.