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Texas-Mexico Border: A View from Bentsen State Park
20 Apr 2010
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That is Mexico on the other side of the Rio Grande River-- "al otro lado" as we say around here.  When I can get away from the hustle and bustle of life, I like to visit Bentsen State Park to be reminded of the natural beauty that exists all around me.  It is one of the few public places where we can see the plants, animals and landscapes that are native to our area because since the early 20th century over 95 percent of our land has been cleared for agricultural, residential or business development.

But this park also reminds me of another type of survival--the survival of a people and a border way of life. Despite U.S. public policy intent on keeping immigrants out, Bentsen Park illustrates the dynamic transnationalism that has defined our region--and our families.  Trails littered with campfire ashes and empty water jugs pierce through the thicket, reminding me of my father's own experience as a child and the urgent need for more humane immigration policies.  

When I'm here, I am filled with respect for the land and its people--all its people--de este lado y del otro.

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