Mexican Town That Offers Tourists Experience of Simulated Border Crossing

James Badcock, Telegraph, April 14, 2015

The sirens wail in the darkness and the brakes bring the patrol vehicle crunching to halt. “Hey people, listen! We are the US Border Patrol. We’re here to help you. Why don’t you surrender?” Then what sound like gunshots are heard by the dozens of young Mexicans cowering amid the undergrowth.

But the man with the loudspeaker in the dead of night is only playing the part of a “migra” border guard, and the youths he is trying to find before manhandling them into his vehicle are tourists taking part in the Night Walk experience offered by a theme park four hundred miles south of the actual Mexico-US frontier.

Cirilo Jerónimo is ideal for the role of US anti-immigration officer as he had plenty of real-life experience before landing his theme park job.

“I try to act based on what I saw the Border Patrol doing when I was crossing the line,” he said.

Mr Jerónimo was caught the second time he tried to travel north, having already lived in Utah for eight years as a building worker.

A two-hour drive north of Mexico City, El Alberto was becoming a ghost town in 2004, with most of the population having left for the United States. But then local entrepreneurs created EcoAlberto, a theme park where guests can go kayaking and mountaineering by day and play at being an illegal immigrant by night.

Participants pay 250 pesos (around £10) to pretend to be migrants wading through mud, tunnels and across rough terrain without torches or water while trying to evade border guards, thieves and dangerous drug traffickers, all played by actors.

The aim, the organisers say, is to create awareness of the perils of emigration. Most will be caught by the “migra” or fall prey to criminal elements.

At 9pm Poncho, who claims to have been a “coyote”–or migrants’ guide–in real life, welcomes the group of rowdy young tourists to the starting point, next to El Alberto’s church. “We started doing these walks on 31 July, 2004, with the aim of showing people the real Mexico that many people don’t want to see.”

“Think now about the migrant who is travelling on top of a train or freezing in some desert night. What you will experience is probably not even five per cent of what those emigrants are going through.”

In 2014, just under 500,000 people were detained near the US-Mexico border, including 229,000 Mexicans. The US government recorded 307 deaths among illegal immigrants in the 12 months to September 2014, down on previous years.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Why bother with any of this? Just scream refugee and oppression, and the Yankee government will fly you here for free.

    • propagandaoftruth

      Sounds like a training course for border hoppers to me…

  • james AZ

    I saw ANN COULTER there!!!!!!!

  • rebelcelt

    I wonder if the women are raped in a pretend acting kind of way?

    • how about this

      I don’t think the Mexicans have achieved that degree of liberated sexuality yet, poor dears that they are. We need to enrich them with classes in remedial BDSM. I demand a press conference.

      • Guest

        >>Noah>>
        >
        >
        >>>>…
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Dale McNamee

    This is beyond pathetic…

  • listenupbub

    What is so bad about riding in/on a train? Seems chill to me. I’ve seen the real videos. They go right over the border, no problem.

  • Cheri Rodriguez

    Still waiting for the Alamo Theme Park and Little Big Horn Theme Park. I’m sure you’d get a bunch of liberals lining up for their turn at slaughtering the evil Whites.

  • DonReynolds

    Maybe some of the Liberal tourists will get the full experience and drown in the RioGrande River or get lost in the desert and run out of water. That would work.

  • bv

    I can get work as an abusive immigration agent.

  • Light from the East

    Next time they may simulate border crossing training.

  • InAFreeCountry

    At least the ex-illegal aliens are where they belong.