Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bet you won't find this at Fiesta Texas

I suppose nothing should surprise me in this opportunistic capitalism society we live in, but every so often something stops me in my tracks, slack-jawed and blinking. Such as this park that specializes in the 'extreme sport' of border-crossing:
Welcome to one of Mexico's weirdest tourist attractions: A park where visitors pay $15 to hike across fields and through treacherous ravines, a grueling experience aimed at simulating an illegal journey across the U.S.-Mexico border.

"We want this to be an exercise in awareness," said Alfonso Martinez, who acts as the chief smuggler at EcoAlberto Park in central Mexico.

Marion Lloyd/Houston Chronicle

Would-be migrants hide out from 'the Migra' in a park game in El Alberto, Mexico. The real Border Patrol is not amused.

"It's in honor of all the people who have gone in search of the American Dream."

The park, funded in part by the Mexican government, compares crossing the border to an "extreme sport" and tells participants that they, too, can "trick the Migra," slang for the Border Patrol.

U.S. authorities, naturally enough, are not amused. I, on the other hand, am extremely amused at the mental image of affluent white suburbanites plunking their $15 down for a few hours of manufactured thrill. I mean, really. Anyone who thinks this is real "training" for an actual cross-border excursion has been dipping into Rush Limbaugh's cache of happy pills.

Now Playing: The Ventures Walk-Don't Run: The Best of the Ventures

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