All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.Samuel Johnson
I spent a month in Laredo, Texas for work mapping the U.S. and Mexican border. I would cross the border to visit Nuevo Laredo during some of his days off. It was interesting to see some of the Mexican culture in a town not known for tourism. Below are a few pictures to give you a feel for the town and what its like to be able to walk across the border.
I would visit with co-workers and we would usually hit up some of the cantinas. If not eating we would hire a horse cart and check out some of the antique and crafts markets. It was obvious it was not a safe place to be after sundown, as the military would roll in and the streets would empty. Overall, during the day we felt quite safe and everyone that we met was nice and interested in meeting us.
An interesting anecdote was that we were told not let anyone know that we worked in aviation, were pilots, or anything related. Apparantly it’s not uncommon for those in the aviation to be kidnapped in order for the cartels to use planes and pilots in drug smuggling operations.
I have previously been to the Yucatan Peninsula and visited Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Chichen Itza Maya ruins, areas nothing like Nuevo Laredo and the border region. It provided a juxtopostion and really showed just how diverse Mexico really is. I also got to visit Mexico City during our around the world trip and it added yet another layer to the intriguing country of Mexico. It was my favorite part of Mexico that I have visited so far and you can read about in the post titled Mexico City.