Photo Gallery: Re-Opening The Border At Boquillas

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An unmanned border station in West Texas has opened almost 11 years after the border was sealed following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The border station is remotely operated, meaning citizens entering the U.S. will have their passports scanned and be interviewed by phone by Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso, Texas. Before that, citizens of both countries walked across the Rio Grande and people took that back-and-forth for granted.

Fronteras Desk contributor Lorne Matalon accompanied four senior U.S. Border Patrol agents as they crossed the Rio Grande — without their weapons — to meet their Mexican counterparts Wednesday. The walk marked the official opening of the long-awaited border crossing linking Big Bend National Park in Texas and Boquillas, Mexico.

A man illegally in the U.S. stands by the Rio Grande and sells walking sticks in Big Bend National Park, Texas. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

A man illegally in the U.S. stands by the Rio Grande and sells walking sticks in Big Bend National Park, Texas. (Lorne Matalon)

Two cousins in the village plaza in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

Two cousins in the village plaza in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

Victor Valdez, who for years has entertained Americans as he sings at the river in the village plaza in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

Victor Valdez, who for years has entertained Americans as he sings at the river in the village plaza in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

A 4-year-old boy offers a visitor a handmade embroidered wool bracelet in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

A 4-year-old boy offers a visitor a handmade embroidered wool bracelet in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

The man prepares to cross the Rio Grande back to Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

The man prepares to cross the Rio Grande back to Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

The Mexican flag is raised on the village plaza in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

The Mexican flag is raised on the village plaza in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

U.S. Border Patrol agents — their weapons left on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande — meet with the Mexican military in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

U.S. Border Patrol agents — their weapons left on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande — meet with the Mexican military in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent speaks with the Mexican military commander. It is unusual to see American agents on the ground in Mexico in a public setting. For the visit, U.S. agents left their weapons at home. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent speaks with the Mexican military commander. It is unusual to see American agents on the ground in Mexico in a public setting. For the visit, U.S. agents left their weapons at home. (Lorne Matalon)

The commander of the local Mexican military garrison stands on the southern side of the Rio Grande looking back at the U.S. side in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

The commander of the local Mexican military garrison stands on the southern side of the Rio Grande looking back at the U.S. side in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

A young horse jockey waits by the Rio Grande to take visitors from the shoreline into the village a few minutes away. Only the boat in the background is allowed to cross back and forth in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

A young horse jockey waits by the Rio Grande to take visitors from the shoreline into the village a few minutes away. Only the boat in the background is allowed to cross back and forth in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

Catarino Oreste Vasquez, 70, says village residents are yearning for visitors now that the border crossing has opened. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

Catarino Oreste Vasquez, 70, says village residents are yearning for visitors now that the border crossing has opened. (Lorne Matalon)

U.S. Border Patrol agents — their weapons left on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande — meet with the Mexican military in Boquillas, Mexico. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

U.S. Border Patrol agents — their weapons left on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande — meet with the Mexican military in Boquillas, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

Four senior U.S. Border Patrol agents cross the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park, Texas, as a crowd gathers to greet them on the Mexican side.

Four senior U.S. Border Patrol agents cross the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park, Texas, as a crowd gathers to greet them on the Mexican side. (Lorne Matalon)

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