Crossing the border at Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico was interesting for a few reasons.
The first thing I noticed was people walking back to Mexico with items purchased in the U.S. There’s one guy in this photo dragging a mattress comforter behind him.
I was taken aback that there was a fee (a few bucks) to cross into Mexico, and another on the way back. I had never encountered that while crossing into Mexico at Tijuana, or while crossing into Canada.
It turns out that the fee is technically a “bridge toll,” not a border crossing fee. This page from the city of Eagle Pass has information about the International Bridge.
There are actually two bridges near each other: The Eagle Pass International Bridge and the Camino Real International Bridge. Both have sidewalks for pedestrians and multiple car lanes going each direction.
After reaching Mexico, we noticed a sculpture park and a large sign introducing the city.
This park is Plaza de las Culturas, and it’s an interesting place to check out. The plaza has re-creations of some of Mexico’s most famous Aztec pyramids.
Who knew that the Department of Homeland Security has its own flag? I knew they had a logo, but an actual flag? Are these for sale to the public, I wonder?
My trip into Mexico was extremely quick, but the return border crossing took much longer – upwards of two hours. It was a Sunday evening, and it seems that there’s a wait at the border coming into Eagle Pass every Sunday.
Many Mexicans who are now U.S. residents head back into Mexico to visit family on Sunday. When they return back home to the U.S. on Sunday night, that can result in a long line of cars waiting to re-enter the country.
The exact spot where Mexico meets the U.S. is over the Rio Grande. It’s marked with these fancy colors on the concrete. See the exact location where two countries meet!
This was the most fascinating aspect of waiting in line at the border: Numerous guys selling random trinkets through car windows…
… despite the signs clearly indicating that selling objects is illegal.
It doesn’t send a great message that the first experience many people have in the United States is seeing people openly defying a rule against vending on the bridge. We don’t care about laws here in the USA!
Then again, it’s easy to criticize this sort of thing when you’re in a more privileged position than these folks.
I can’t begrudge the poor the opportunity to make a few bucks to support their families. Selling random objects on the street is common throughout Mexico. It’s something people are used to at this particular border crossing.
The population of Eagle Pass is roughly 28,000 people. Hispanic residents make up about 95% of the population, while white folks comprise 3.5%, and other races account for less than 1% each.
Check out this photo essay with more photos from the Mexican state of Coahuila. Also read about the Plaza de las Culturas in Piedras Negras, and take a look at some Mexican cemeteries in small desert towns.
Have you ever made the border crossing at Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass, Texas?