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Travel to Palominas Mexican Border of USA

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Mexican border of USA not a no man’s land —

I was driving west across highway 92 after a quick visit to Bisbee, Arizona, and I spotted a town to my left that I did not remember seeing the first time I passed this way. It looked as if it was sitting in the middle of a field on the side of the highway.

It was just sitting in a field on the side of the highway.

Funny, why would a town just be sitting out there in the middle of nowhere rather than on this major roadway?

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Wade from www.VagabondJourney.com
Palominas, Arizona, USA, Late November, 2009
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Hardly a kilometer of empty pasture land stood between the highway and the town, but the highway did not seem too interested connecting to it. In fact, the mighty highway seemed to ignore that little city to the best of its ability, allowing just the single narrow and straight road going to it as the only indication that the place I beheld was not a mere figment of my traveler dreams.

View of Nacos Mexico from USA

View of Naco, Mexico from USA

It was a town plopped down in the middle of a field. It was Mexico. As I passed by I noticed a single road with a sign that said “Naco”

I again stared at Naco the next time I passed it, this time at night. Its lights lit up the field. The town was nearby, I could see it clearly, but it was also far away.

The middle of the field was not simply a figment of my traveler’s dreams, but was an actual place with actual people, a pharmacy, a dentist office, a fried chicken restaurant or two, and street lights.

I shrugged my shoulders and looked out again towards Bisbee, leaving little Naco to sit in its field on the lee side of a border that is not, by any means, a no man’s land. No man, this stretch between the USA and Mexico is peopled. It is in no way urban, but an even splattering of humans are habitating within sight of each other across a border that is suppose to act as a palisade.

I suppose this is why a large, flood light lit fence was erected over it — dividing the Americans from the Mexicans. But this palisade is highly permeable.  The people in these borderlands are — quite naturally — a mixture of both countries. Mexican license plates are nearly as prevalent here as those from the USA. The people are both tinted brown and pasty white, the language both English and Spanish, the food both processed, bagged, and boxed, and homemade, wrapped in corn shucks, and piled into large bags.

This is the borderland of my country: the place where the USA is blended into Latin America.

Moutains on USA border near Palominas Mexico

Mountains on USA border near Palominas Mexico

Travel to the Mexican border of the USA

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Filed under: Arizona, Border Crossing, Current Events, Danger, Mexico

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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