Federal officials plan to reopen the border crossing from Big Bend National Park to the Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen next spring. At this high-tech port of entry, visitors will enter Customs and Border Protection kiosks to scan their identification and speak remotely with a customs officer more than one hundred miles away at the nearest manned border crossing.
While no customs officials will staff the site, rangers with the National Park Service will be on hand to greet visitors and give them information about the park, Christopher Sherman of the Associated Press reported.
For decades the informal border crossing across the Rio Grande was a favorite of American tourists, thousands of whom crossed in a small metal boat every year to indulge the “drowsy pleasures” of Carta Blanca, conjunto, and tacos in the tiny town dotted with adobe buildings a mile away from the river. As Robert Draper described in 1997 when he love letter to the informal crossing for Texas Monthly:
A $2 round-trip fee gets you into a rowboat, a porous metal relic that rocks precariously in the river the moment you step in. The boatman paddles against the current—or, in low-water season, he wades across, pulling the boat and its passengers the thirty-yard distance. Upon disembarking, you are asked by a member of the welcoming gaggle if you would like a ride into town. Taking the mile on foot is certainly possible, though the heat is unsparing and $3 will buy you a space in the back