Crossing Borders

Lone Cactus, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011. All rights reserved.

Fear breeds fear. Fear of the unknown causes paralysis of the brain which can result in an inability to make logical, conscious decisions based on fact. Special interest groups, religions and politicians use it all the time to stir the emotions of the most gullible in order to pass the bills that pad their pockets and strengthen their personal and sometimes bigoted agendas. Truth is often twisted, manipulated or hidden in order to add credence and support to their campaign of fear.

I personally choose to make my own decisions based on fact. I refuse to live my life in a cocoon paralyzed by fear of things that might happen to me. What is the point of life if you are too afraid to experience it? Hiding behind the limiting walls of the what-ifs leads only to a very sad and unfulfilled existence. The world is an interesting, beautiful place filled with amazing human beings and I want to know them.

The last few years we have been bombarded with press surrounding the drug wars in Mexico. Fear-mongers have used those reports to twist the truth and fuel the fire of hatred and bigotry towards a group of human beings who are undeserving of such tongue-lashing and blatant lies. The “gullibles” have chosen to fall into a space of fear unsupported by fact. This saddens me deeply. It is my wish that more people would choose to face their own fears and open themselves up to experience the world first hand; not through the virulent spouting of some special interest group, but with their own eyes, ears, and skin. It is from personal experience and interaction that we reach an understanding of others. It is with this new-found understanding that we can begin to stand up for the rest of humanity that flourishes outside our own borders.

The Border at Los Algodones, Baja, Mexico.

Last week I flew to Yuma, Arizona and then drove across the border into Baja, Mexico. I wasn’t shot or killed, nor did I ever once feel threatened. I saw thousands of American citizens doing the same thing and having a wonderful time mingling with the Mexican people, enjoying the beauty that country has to offer. I laughed with my parents and their group of friends who all have houses in San Felipe as they recounted their journeys up and down the length and width of Baja. None of them have ever felt remotely threatened and they have been doing this for years.

I was moved by the Mexican people in the same way I have always been moved whenever I have journeyed there. I witnessed hard workers and loving families. I saw fishermen who rose everyday before dawn and worked until dusk so that their families would be fed. I ate wonderful food in restaurants owned by Mexican citizens, strolled along the Melicon at night and toured the barrio where the reality of poverty created a stark contrast to the azure blue sea and white sands. I fell in love all over again with these beautiful people who always have a kind word and a gentle smile.

I have felt more threatened by my own white, Anglo-Saxon, born-and-bred American next door neighbors who had constant conflict and police intervention with guns drawn than I have ever felt with the Mexican people. Whether they be illegal aliens trying to make a living in the U.S. or those who have welcomed me with open arms when I cross their border, I refuse to buy into the inflated claims and scare tactics of the close-minded. I choose instead to live my life outside the box of mislead propaganda. I choose to touch, and feel, and smell, and taste the world in all its diverse glory so when I finally do die, it can be said, I truly lived.

Fishermen after a long day, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011.

Families digging for clams, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011.

Churro's at the swap meet, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011.

Perro, at the ZAPP spay/neuter clinic, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011.

Barrio dwelling, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011.

Azure blue Sea of Cortez, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011.

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About tracyth76

I am a professional photographer, obsessed iPhoneographer, freelance writer and website designer located in Northern, California. View all posts by tracyth76

6 responses to “Crossing Borders

  • hollye Dexter

    Gorgeous story.
    Gorgeous heart.
    Gorgeous photos.

    I so agree. My in-laws lived in Rosarito Beach for ten years, so we spent a lot of time in Mexico, becoming embedded in the lifestyle and culture.

    Like any country they have their ups and downs. We had to pay bribe money to the cops one night so they wouldn’t take us to jail for going 10 miles over the speed limit, but other than that, we’ve found the people to be warm and open, and very family oriented. We always feel at home in Mexico.

  • Madge Woods

    Love the photos and the story. Can’t live in fear as it destroys the spirit too.

  • hannahkozak

    Fear breeding fear is not a way to live.Mexico is a country filled with so much beauty that every time I go, I fall in love all over again. I have been saddened by all the propaganda and fear based stories about it. Thank you for sharing your insights with such passion.

  • Don Rake

    Tracy, thanks for sharing this. Diane and I have traveled extensively in Mexico and other parts of the world and have never been frightened by anything except other Americans trying to rip us off, both overseas and in the USA. The few minor incidents we’ve had with locals have been more comical than dangerous, like the two old guys in Herculaneum Italy, one of whom tried to distract me while his buddy tried to get behind me with his itty-bitty pocketknife so he could cut into my day pack. I kept moving around them. We did a kind of waltz for 30 seconds or so when a policeman approached and the old guys left.

  • Baja California Magazine « A Thousand Words

    […] Baja California Magazine By tracyth76 This is an image from my recently published piece “Crossing Borders” that appeared in the June issue of Baja California Magazine. You can read the complete piece in the following blog post: Crossing Borders […]

  • Cheryl Moseley

    Very good article, Tracy. I totally agree with you. I don’t live my life in fear, and I’m not going to start. Unfortunate things happen every day, even in our own backyard.

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