Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Mexican Border Town

I'd been to Algodones, near Yuma, AZ, many times, so I was curious how Progreso, across the Rio Grande River from the southern tip of Texas, differed. As with Algodones, you walk across the border, this time across a 25-cent toll bridge.

Halfway across is the official border.

This town is full of pharmacies, dentists, and optical places, just like Algodones, but seems to have a better variety of goods for sale. There were also several vet pharmacies, something I wish Algodones would have.

The real difference here is the Mexican military presence. Why here? And why at the exit from Mexico? Are they afraid someone will blast their way out? Lots of Uzi-toting soldiers in bullet-proof vests, behind barricades.

And even a tank! I just don't get it.


  1. The police presence to keep it safe for tourists. Neighboring border town of Reyanosa (sp?) has had some real trouble in the last couple of months.

  2. It's an armored vehicle of some kind, but it's not a tank.

    The problem is violence associated with the drug trade and the Mexican drug cartels. The State Department has issued advisories about the dangers of traveling to Mexico and many universities are warning students NOT to travel to Mexico during spring break.

    Mike Goad (at home in Arkansas)
    Haw Creek Out 'n About

  3. Do they have Frontline for the pets and Heart Guard?

  4. The Military presence might have something to do with all the kidnappings of Pretty American lady tourists. And all the beheadings? Be safe!!!

  5. Okay, I could understand it if they were in the town, but they were at the border just as you are leaving the country. I still don't get it!

  6. Good point - if somebody was going to kidnap you, I don't think they would take you back to the border. It sure wasn't like that a couple of years ago.

  7. Diana, the pictures are great! I liked the Rio Grande River and would like to paddle it someday. We went to Mexico through Nogalas, AZ a few years back, stayed about 45 minutes and couldn't wait to get back to the good ole USA.
    Keep up the good work.

    Barry from Kentucky

  8. Please don't buy products for your pet in Mexico! I'm a veterinarian, and if you buy any prescription items (like heartworm prevention) from any place other than a veterinarian, you may not be getting the product you think are buying. Merial is the company that makes Heartgard, and THEY don't know where these places, including ANY online pharmacy, are getting these products.
    Your health, and your dog's, deserve the best. This is NOT an area where you should try to save money!
    Hope I didn't offend anyone...just trying to educate and inform b/c I'm an RV'er too, and want to help this community.

  9. After reading this I had to look up the latest on the US / Mexico border problems so it was very interesting. I was aware of the situation and the problems but didnt have the latest updates. So from what I read it seems that both sides are stepping up the patrols in an effort to rein in the illegal drug cartels and to try and safeguard against kidnappings. Obama is off to visit Mexico to discuss this. Its always a bit scary when you see such a heavily armed military prescence.

  10. If meds are ok for us to purchase and use from Mexico I guess it would be ok for any animal too.

  11. Who said meds from Mexico are okay for humans, either? If I had a choice, I wouldn't buy them there. There is very little regulation of those products in Mexico. They do not have the equivalent of a Food and Drug Administration. Many pet "drugs" bought from Mexico and/or the internet have been tested by independent labs. In some cases, there is NONE of the active ingredient in the product. Please buy wisely :)

  12. Great Post, Diana. You expect an Army to be protecting it's Border from "invaders", Eh? I guess Politics creates strange necessities.


  13. Diana, the ever increasing demand by Gringos for drugs of all kinds and the willingness to supply them are the root causes of the spectacle you beheld.

    Like some others, I'd be very leery about purchasing drugs over-the-counter in border towns unless you know the pharmacist personally. Even then, be careful. Better to stick with buying online from Canada. Just visit a border doctor in the US for the needed RX slip and then order away to your heart's content... So what if you're helping to destroy Canada's medical insurance system?

    Drugs - gotta have 'em, can't afford 'em. Sux, doesn't it?

  14. Most of you making these incredibly ignorant, stupid, idiotic comments do not know anything about Mexico. Learn some Spanish and actually take the time to travel and learn about another country. I speak fluent Spanish and have lived in Matamoros for 6 years. If you aren't involved in the drug trade and aren't a moron (unlike most of you who commented here) you'll be fine. If you want to actually travel thru Mexico and learn about the culture get out of your RV and hop on a bus. That would mean *gasp* mixing with people who don't speak English. I've been traveling in Latin America for years and haven't ever been robbed or had problems with the police. I dress appropiately and don't flash cash or other obvious signs of wealth. If I wanted to get robbed in Mexico I know exactly how to do that. I'd get an expensive RV and load it up with all the comforts of home. Barry from Knetucky, Nogales is nothing like the interior of Mexico. Did you seriously judge a country based on a border town?


I love comments!