Have you ever seen beyond the Border Wall?
Have you ever seen a dilapidated shack built on the road from Cuidad Victoria to San Luis Potosi?
A homemade shack made of 4 foot tall green cactus, black trash bags, torn tarps and discarded card board boxes makes a home for a family of eleven.
A 10X6 ft. living space for an indigenous family tied with a makeshift clothesline made from sticks and recycled cow fence wires.
Have you ever seen la gente pobrecita? (the poor folks)
Long cucumber shaped nopales and dust filled tumbleweed fences act as walls for property lines.
Old tires surround the piso de tierra (mud floors) huts line the carretera (road). Corrugated pieces of lamina cover the low roofed grass and mud tops.
Have you ever stopped on the Mexican roadside to buy goods from la gente de las (the people of the) orange, yellow and lime green neon colored carretas?(carts)
Fresh naranjas con chile Tajin (oranges with hot peppers)or freshly squeezed orange juice with little or no ice por favor (please)….
“Por favor senito comprenos las sandias, dulces, y los cocos frescos bien ricos” (Please madam, buy our watermelons, candies and fresh delicious coconuts)
chants a dark-bronzed woman in her floral cotton dress---her face, a snapshot of hope in the scorching July heat near the Tropic of Cancer.
Have you ever wondered why entire illegal families risk their lives to swim across the murderous raging Rio Grande River?
You haven’t looked at those barefooted ninos with broken, brownish, black eyes who smilingly beg on the dusty roads selling chicles y cacahuates. (gum and peanuts)
You haven’t touched their tiny warm manitas (little hands) and viewed dirt covered caritas lindas (lovely faces),
And now we want to build a Border Wall to fix it all!
We must “protect our borders from dangerous, monstrous illegal immigrants.”
We must look beyond our comfortable lawn chairs, carne (meat) cookouts, neatly, manicured back yards and leave our lazy boy chairs watching our big screen TVs….
We must look beyond the border…I dare you to cross the bridge into Mexico driving your monstrous SUVs and just in case you don’t want to muddy your cars with Mexican mud, then take a walk across to see the pobresa de los ninos. (poverty in children)
Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio is an English instructor at Texas Southmost College and has been teaching writing for almost 40 years. She is the proud Abuelita of 3 charming grandchildren, BellaVida, Charlotte Mae and Phoenix. Her favorite person in the whole wide world is her husband of 37 years, Juan David Lucio. Dr. Salazar Lucio is the daughter of Maria Elena Leal and Baltazar Salazar. She also has 3 children, Monica Leah/Pedro Cantu, David Daniel/Kate Dawson and Erika Teresa Lucio.

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