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Written by jmaz98 on 30 Mar, 2011
Nuevo Progreso is a Mexican town in the state of Tamaulipas located on the US-Mexican border.The Progreso-Nuevo Progreso International Bridge connects the town with Progreso Lakes, Texas. The town has, so far, escaped the violence that has been occurring in many other border towns.From…Read More
Nuevo Progreso is a Mexican town in the state of Tamaulipas located on the US-Mexican border.The Progreso-Nuevo Progreso International Bridge connects the town with Progreso Lakes, Texas. The town has, so far, escaped the violence that has been occurring in many other border towns.From the parking lot ($2 all day) near the foot of the bridge on the US side, it's a short 5 minute walk over the bridge to Mexico. When I arrived, the lot was almost full with cars from as far away as Canada. There were also a few tour buses. A sign on the bridge proclaims, "Thank God and America for winter Texans" but, judging by the outstretched arms holding baseball caps through the slats in the fence, the town needs more help than what it's getting from Americans and Canadians buying cheap liquor and prescription drugs. Avenida Benito Juarez is the main shopping street and is directly across from the bridge as you enter Mexico. For 6-8 blocks or so, stores selling prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical items, liquor, tobacco, jewelry, leather goods, groceries, and other items line each side of the street. Discount dental work is also a source of revenue here. Outside the shops, vendors sell sunglasses, CDs, DVDs, candy, costume jewelry, etc. Actually, if you took away the avocado and nopale (cactus) vendors, the scene would look almost like a New York City street fair. Those who know me, know that I wouldn't be able to stay among the tourist throng for very long, so I continued walking and passed a "Men's Club". The two hawkers outside the club noticed my camera and promised me that I could take pictures of the girls inside. I only half believed them, but my curiosity got the better of me, and as one of the hawkers led me by the arm, we walked past the red velvet curtain into the small, dark club. In it, was a bar, a stage, and some tables. There were two girls at the bar, and two more sitting at a table...and no one else. When one of the men who led me in offered to buy me a tequila, my comfort level dropped to the point where I broke free and bolted out of the club. At this point, I decided to head back towards the bridge and get some lunch. I stopped at Arturo's, where tuxedo-clad waiters have been serving Mexican food on white tablecloths to tourists for over 50 years. I wouldn't normally eat in a restaurant like this, but I wanted cabrito (baby goat) and I didn't see it being served anywhere else. The cabrito was grilled and served with rice, beans, grilled onions, a grilled serrano pepper, and inexplicably, onion rings. A tomato based sauce was to be poured on the meat. The dark meat was crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and very flavorful.After lunch, I decided that I had seen enough and walked back over the bridge and, after a 10 minute wait, went through US Customs. (When the agent asked me if I was bringing anything back from Mexico, I answered, "just some indigestion". She didn't think it was funny).Would I ever return to Nuevo Progreso? If I ever need some cheap dental work done or that elusive Pantera t-shirt, the answer is yes. Close