IT hears about some pretty strange travel trends, but when we read about a simulated border crossing tour in Harper's July 2006 issue,
we thought we'd better delve deeper. "Parque EcoAlberto, an eco-resort
in central Mexico, aims to replicate the experience of illegally
crossing the border to the United States," states Harper's,
"Mock border agents are employed to prevent 'successful crossings,'
loading those they catch onto trucks." Was this something morbidly akin
to Houston's Enron tours and New Orleans' post-Katrina disaster tours?
We found our way to the resort's website, all in Spanish, where we located and translated the following: "Visit EcoAlberto to help the sons of our [indigenous] Hñahñu brothers. They do not have to live apart, with their bodies in a neighboring country and their hearts in El Alberto." From our reading, it seems the tour is less for ambulance-chasing tourists than a way to acknowledge the hardships undergone by local emigrants attempting to fulfill an American dream (and bring money into their home community so that they don't have to leave).
While IT's not quite ready to hop a plane to Mexico City, drive over an hour to the resort, and pay $100 to get chased "across unfamiliar terrain littered with obstacles" by border control, we can think of a few people we'd like to send in our place...