Small Town Takes Tourists on Simulated Border-Crossing Expedition
09/10/2012 - 09:45 ||
Want to know what it's like illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border? You can experience a similar trek first-hand, for $18. El Alberto, Mexico has created a 'theme park' centered around border-crossing and has been running tours since 2004, reports the Huffington Post.
Caminata Nocturna, a company that employs more than 100 residents or roughly one-eighth of the town's population, runs "La Caminata," a four-hour, seven-and-a-half hour trek where participants are followed by "immigration officials" and "border patrol agents," while trying to make it to their destination.
"Most people come out of curiosity. We tell them that we don't want it to be an adventure but a way to raise consciousness," said one of the tour guides. "The idea is to put them into this situation to truly experience what a migrant experiences."
Participants must climb under fences, run through brush, dodge tree limbs and hit the ground if they see flashlights. The trek takes place on Saturdays, and although family-friendly, the tour admits it can get intense.
Julian Garcia, who admitted to crossing the border a number of times, explains that the experience is meant to show how hard the trek is and to discourage migration.
"Some people think we are training people," he said. "If we were training them, we'd make it much harder!"
What do you think of this experience? Would you ever sign up?