If there were no Winter Texans there would be no Nuevo Progreso. December 5 the merchants in this Mexican town had a "Welcome Back Winter Texans" day. Unfortunately, this was the day when Mexican soldiers battled it out with gunmen who drove into the city in a pick up truck from the south. Two gunmen were killed in the shooting, which came a couple of hours after the chamber of commerce celebration welcoming Winter Texans back for the season. The locals guided all the Americans to the back of their stores and they were fine, but it gave Nuevo Progreso notoriety that it did not need. Despite all the horrible reports in our media about brutal drug cartel murders, we have found Mexico to be a congenial place, except for the border cities.
And Nuevo Progresso is so on the border, you can park your car in Texas, walk across the bridge over the Rio Grande and there you are. The locals have created a little mecca meeting all of our needs in this easy to visit spot. Building after building hosts dental offices, offering low priced services that many retirees cannot afford at home. Interspersed with these are pharmacies, selling all the drugs you hear about when you watch the news on TV at dinner time. No prescriptions needed. If you know the name of the drug and the dosage, you're in business for half the price at home. There were also lots of pharmacies selling drugs for animals. Americans love their pets and their drugs can be just as pricey as drugs for humans. Although there are no regular physicians' offices here - retired Americans have that big government run Medicare program you know - we did see cosmetic surgical services advertised. Medical tourism has become big business in India and Thailand, so why not Mexico?
Another reason to come to NP is to shop handicrafts. Mexicans are an artistic people and the town has gathered products from all over the country - ceramics, glass, leather goods, jewelry especially silver, embroidered items, etc. Since we have been to Mexico many times we only brought home a pound of coffee and some fruit drink mix. Mexicans have some nice fruit flavors not available at home.
Last time we were here we only had to show a drivers' license to return to the US, but the law has changed and we need passports to return from any foreign country now. When we entered Mexico no one asked for our documents, but there were no signs warning about the passport requirement to return. We wondered if we would be seeing tears and lamentations when we crossed to come, but apparently everyone has gotten the word.