Recently, I’ve been in and out of Mexico more than usual. Ordinarily I go there for lunch with friends, have dental work done and to shop for birthday or Christmas gifts that are out of the ordinary. I live on the border and there’s been a lot of information in the media lately, most of which doesn’t fit with what I know and have observed during the last thirteen plus years.
On Wednesday the 4th of March, I spent most of the day in Palomas, Mexico. I’d been asked if I’d like to see what goes on at the Palomas Cooperativa. What I saw, and photographed, was people helping people. That day, the Cooperativa program was sewing class instruction and following up on some information about gardening preparation and maintenance. While I was there, I helped put up a basketball hoop that had been purchased and brought to Palomas by one of the volunteers from the US. While we drilled holes and strung wires for the hoop, three young kids waited impatiently for us to finish. A link to “Palomas, Mexico, Columbus New Mexico” slide show is on www.newliferoadmap.com. The link will take you to the slide show on Associated Content.
What others have written about the border recently seemed to me, as a resident of the area, to be information from incidences that happened many months ago, or were supplied by someone else. It appeared that none the writers had really gathered any information other than what they could see from the seat of their car, a bar stool, from those who have some vested interest in bad news, police reports and the morgue. All the media coverage, and those who wrote it, has been transfixed on doom and gloom, death and destruction, and as morbid and grotesque as possible. None of their sordid details fit with my personal experiences, so I decided to take pictures and gather my own first hand information, a lot of which I did while walking the back streets. I didn’t have to duck and dodge and never felt it necessary to cover my back. Common sense tells us that frequenting places where trouble hangs out is an invitation for problems. It’s like leaving your keys in the car and then wondering how it got stolen or not understanding why the money you left lying on the table in a public place disappeared. Everyone I saw in Palomas, was going about there daily lives the same as we do.
While in Palomas, I stopped to talk with my dentist Dr. Perez at American Dental Care. There were seven people in the waiting room and I had to wait until one of their three dental chairs was vacant before I could take a few quick pictures. The facility is spotless, sanitary and staffed by friendly people.
The plaza outside was filled with unique metal sculpture, pottery and wooden artwork. The Pink Store was filled with diners for the afternoon. Other restaurants, dental offices, pharmacies and businesses had people shopping, sitting at the tables, cars filled the available parking spaces while others waited in line at the border. No one I saw in Palomas appeared to be nervous or scanning the horizon for impending trouble. The following Saturday, I was across the border in Columbus, NM. That’s recounted in my article “Raid Day.” Both the article and my slide show “Raid Day Cabalgata” have links on our website www.newliferoadmap.com and are posted on Associated Content.