Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cross-Border Festival in West Texas


On Saturday, folks gathered in Lajitas, Texas (on the edge of Big Bend National Park) and Paso Lajitas, Mexico, for the now-annual Voices From Both Sides festival. It takes place on the Rio Grande, with musicians on both sides of the border taking turns playing for the crowds.

As Sasha von Oldershausen reports for The Nation, for some, the event provides the opportunity for otherwise impossible reunions:

Zulma Carrasco, 38, traveled from her home in Houston—a nearly 10-hour drive—to see her parents, who live across the border in Mexico. A Mexican national, Carrasco has a work permit, which enables her to travel freely within Texas, though not across national borders. Meanwhile, her parents lack the paperwork to freely enter the United States....

At this year’s festival, she sat beside her mother within a tent teeming with family members. But by day’s end, her mother would have to return to Mexico. When I asked how it felt to see her parents again, Carrasco fell silent and hung her head. “Very, very happy,” she whispered through tears. “This day isn’t long enough.”

I hope to get the chance to join in the festivities someday.


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