On April 10, 2013, the day the community of Boquillas had waited more than 11 years for finally came: the border crossing finally reopened. The U.S. and Mexican governments had expressed interest in reopening the border for several years prior, yet the actual opening was pushed back several times for a variety of legal and logistical challenges.
Solimar International and its local Tourism Specialist, José Ernesto Hernandez Morales, had prepared for the anticipated border reopening several times in late 2012 and early 2013. When it finally happened, Ernesto was alerted to the border crossing opening only one day prior. Ernesto raced into action, immediately calling Boquillas community members to try to quickly get them ready to receive visitors from the U.S. Next, Ernesto feverishly carried ferry equipment to Big Bend National Park and then drove to Boquillas, all in the same day, to quickly organize providers of food services and horses for the arriving visitors.
While everyone was rushed to pull everything together, the atmosphere was euphoric. An 11-year wait was finally coming to an end, heralding a return of tourists from the U.S., and therefore, economic benefits.
Roughly 100 people crossed April 10, mostly members of the media, as the general public had not yet been alerted. But since then, in only one month, more than 500 tourists have visited Boquillas, demonstrating the community’s appeal and solidifying its potential to make significant economic gain from tourism.
The border reopening ceremony was attended by the Mexican Comisión Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (CONANP), the U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Migración, and U.S. and Mexican Border Control, Customs, and Consular representatives.