Students cross the border to spend time with family in Mexico


Karely Rodriguez (11)

Karely Rodriguez (11) and her family pause to take a picture in front of the entrance to Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, the city they are visiting to celebrate Karely’s sister ’s quinceañera.

The process of traveling across the border into Mexico can at times be overwhelming, but there are some students who are willing to endure the twenty-hour car trips and border patrol agents if it means spending time with family.

For most of their lives, three White Station students have gone to Mexico over winter break to visit family and make memories with people they usually only get to see once a year.

“I usually go every year to visit family, but this year we mainly went because my sister was having her quinceañera,” Karely Rodriguez (11) said. “I had my quinceañera there too. It’s the way we come together.”

While in Mexico, their families celebrate the holidays together and pass on traditions.

“Since it’s Christmas time, there are things called posadas, where everyone in the neighborhood takes turns going to each other’s houses to sing religious songs, and there are treat bags given to all the kids,” Lupe Rodriguez (11) said. “It’s really fun.”

Despite all the festivities, crossing the border is still daunting. They have to make sure they have all the proper documentation such as permits for vehicles.

“It’s a long process. My family lives towards the center of Mexico, and it is about a twenty-eight-hour drive,” Esmeralda Perez (11) said. “The border is packed, and there are many documents that have to be filed before passing.”

When they reach the border, a twenty-hour car trip becomes longer because of the build-up of traffic as throngs of people try to cross into Mexico.

“The border is very dangerous, so I personally get scared when we’re there,” Karely Rodriguez said. “When you get to Mexico, you stop and either get a green or red light. If you get a green light, you are good to go they don’t have to check you; but if you get a red light, they have to check you.”

Despite all the challenges, all three students agree that being able to celebrate the holidays in a place that connects them more with their family and culture is worth the long drive.