A Paradise from Some, Harsh Reality for Others

The Guardian reports on the heartbreaking reality of everyday life along the border. At Organ Pipe National Monument, there’s a tourist boom underway with visitor rates increasing by 30%. The landscape in this part of southwest Arizona is beautiful and certainly should be known by more people. Yet, it’s also a very dangerous area for migrants arriving via Mexico, and many risk their life to do so. As the article says, two very different pamphlets, one in English, the other in Spanish, underscore the sharp contrast between tourists and migrants at this park:

“Immerse yourself in a photographer’s paradise!” advises a glossy tourist brochure. “Explore the abundance of plants and wildlife unique to the Sonoran desert. Guided walks through the park, as well as hiking trails, camping and picnic facilities, are available. Drive the scenic 21-mile Ajo Mountain loop … star-studded night skies wash away the modern world.”

An identical-sized pamphlet on cheap paper, which you find in Mexican towns bordering the park, offers starker tips in Spanish.

“Use the north star and the movement of the moon to guide you towards the north during the night. Carry one gallon of water in each hand and six litres in the backpack. You can drink cactus fruit but the skin has nearly invisible spines. Peel carefully. If you have no water, drinking urine can sustain you for a while. Don’t do it repeatedly because it will become toxic.”

For the full story, follow the link:
http://gu.com/p/4d6qd?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WordPress

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