This week’s “Sunday short” is about ziplines across the Guatemala-Mexico border, between El Carmen (Guatemala) and Talisman (Mexico). The story was reported by Mexico’s Televisa (a CNN affiliate). What might at first glance appear to be an enterprising form of adventure tourism is actually a means for undocumented migrants to enter Mexico on their way to the USA.
- Migrants use zip line to cross Guatemala-Mexico border (includes video with commentary in English)
Apparently, there are several ziplines across the Suchiate River, which forms the border in this southeastern part of Mexico. The ziplines are not expensive, either. Whereas a similar ride might cost you US$60.00 in the USA or Canada, whizzing across the Suchiate River will cost you only 15 pesos or 10 quetzals (about $1.25).
Guatemalans normally require a visa to enter Mexico, but here, the local immigration authorities turn a blind eye, according to Rafael Romo, the Televisa correspondent. It is assumed that most of the Guatemalans crossing into Mexico are heading for the USA and the possibility of finding work there.
Too few discussions of the issues surrounding illegal migrants in North America recognize that Mexico faces its own problem of illegals— Central Americans desperate to cross the southern border with Guatemala, travel the length of Mexico and then cross into the USA.
If you find the zipline rates in the USA and Canada exorbitant, and want a less expensive adventure tourism experience, then head for the southern jungles of Mexico, but don’t forget to bring a Guatemalan visa with you if you plan to zipline across the Suchiate River!