Walking down the dirt road known as Main Street in Boquillas, I didn’t realize that this tiny community indirectly fell prey to the horrible attacks that happened in America on September 11th, 2001.
Before then, it was a bustling little community of about 300 residents whose main source of income came from tourists crossing the border at Big Bend National Park, tourists who purchased souvenirs, dined at the taco stands and restaurants, enjoyed a beer or two at the village bar, and even stayed overnight at the local bed and breakfast.
All that came to a screeching halt in May of 2002 when, in response to the 9/11 attacks, officials closed the crossing indefinitely. This, in turn, stifled the economy of Boquillas, causing most residents to move away in order to find other means of support. By 2006, the population had dwindled to about 100 residents.
Finally, in 2011, the National Park Service announced plans to re open the Port of Entry, and in April 2013, these plans came into fruition! Since opening, Boquillas has experienced some growth and prosperity!
Curious tourists once again poured dollars into the local economy with their purchases of food, drink and souvenirs! These dollars ultimately brought about the addition of electricity, a medical facility and one phone line!
Families began moving back, In fact, it’s been said that, “Boquillas del Carmen has 200 people,
400 dogs and one million scorpions.”
*Note* I am happy to say that I did not see any scorpions on my trip!