Tag Archives: Laredo

Nuevo Laredo / Laredo International Bridge

Photo I shot at Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas / Laredo, Texas.

This is International Bridge #2 at the US-Mexico border. Below streams the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo as it is known to Mexicans).

Nuevo Laredo and Laredo have several international bridges. Nuevo Laredo has three and Laredo has four — the disparity is because Laredo also borders another state. One of those bridges is used exclusively for trade, where epic cues of transfer trailers cross several times a day in both directions. There’s also a railroad bridge which nobody counts but is there nonetheless.

These bridge, officially known as Juarez-Lincoln bridge (in honor of both presidents that live the same time and also faced divided nations) it is used for cars only. Pedestrians use Bridge #1, the oldest of them all. But in bridge #2, where I shot this photograph, people tend to go and sell whatever they can from pirate DVDs, pillows, figures of saints and like in this cases lollipops. They sell them in the Mexican side of the bridge, which gives them safety from the occasional American officer checking things out.

The US-Mexico border has many realities, and this is just one of them. Unlike what politicians in Washington or Mexico City think every border city or region has its own goodness and difficulties. In this case the Laredos (or Los Dos Laredos as they are also known in Spanish) are a commerce powerhouse. It is considered the fifth most important trade spot in the whole world, and the first in the whole of Latin America. And Laredoans don’t take it lightly (and Nuevo Laredo people too), they have pride on the fact that commerce between North America and Latin America takes place here. This has attracted one of the brightest people but also one of the worst kind at the same time. For obvious reasons in the Drug War, if Laredo and Nuevo Laredo are pivotal in international trade so it will be in illegal activities and smuggling.

US-Mexico international Bridge. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
US-Mexico international Bridge. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Melancholy in a picture

There is a strong melancholy that emerges from my heart evertime I see this photograph. Is it the wide endless desert sky that reminds me of my youthful reckless days? Or perhaps the place itself — with those lamps towering above me everytime I came out of the photography dark room to take the last bus during the dry cold winter? The smell of Texas grass? Was it that air so pure that bordered in being bland? The loneliness of the place, the city, and my heart?

If you think of it, my heart aches for a barren flat land and a lonely sky. Now that I think of it, I yearn for senseless days of my younger years where only dreams existed but nothing more. The idleness of my past now jolts my mind longing for it. The recklessnes of other years now makes my heart sit to remember them in the serenity of the present. The fire that ignited my dreams have now scorched my hopes.

And just perhaps that is what I fear most when I see this photograph. That all I ever wanted has become, all that I dreamed has vanished, for there is no future to pursuit since I am here now. And that — that I can’t bear.

Photo I shot at Laredo, Texas. Back in 2006 at the campus of Texas A&M International University, aka, TAMIU.

Photo I shot at Laredo, Texas. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.
Photo I shot at Laredo, Texas. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.