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This Solitary Gringo Will Walk Across Juarez

Is it safe for tourists in Mexico now?

Well our experience is that it is and while there are concerns, even northern Mexico is much safer than other tourist destinations people use now- such as South Africa and Beliz. Still during this period, Europeans, Australians, Canadians and of course Mexicans are traveling extemsively in the country. Staistics show that tourism to the country has been up in the last 18 months.

I am walking this walk to connect and build a bridge.

Here is the info:


Contact: Dave Hensleigh, 217-369-9897

“One Solitary Gringo” to “Walk across Juarez

August 18-21, 2011

Walk Across What???

Juarez seems to be the LAST place any sane person would chose to even go to, let alone walk across. Most people assume that my body will end up filled with bullets, decapitated, and hung from some bridge with a scrawled cartel note tied to it.

But the actual situation and threat to US citizens is actually much different than what we expect based on most US press reports. I will walk across this border city from the Rio Grande to the south neighborhoods and simply report what I see moment by moment…and let the results speak some reality into the situation.

Who I am:

I am just “one solitary gringo” walking across Juarez.

I am also the owner and lead guide of Authentic Copper Canyon, the premier supplier of culturally rich small group experiences on the train through Copper Canyon, deeper and more vast than our Grand Canyon and 4 hrs south of Juarez.

I have a deep love and respect for the people and land of Mexico. Our groups often travel through the border in the Juarez/St Teresa area, and I am pursuing this walk as a small step in bringing understanding and connection across the border.

Purpose: To give a clear view of life right now on the streets of Juarez from an outsider’s point of view. People on the US side are filled with negative images only and this will give an actual moment by moment story of what it is actually like on the ground in Juarez.

Plan: Enter Juarez from El Paso by the Bridge of the Americas on Friday morning and simply walk across the city. I will stay overnight, interact with people, etc. Moment by moment I will send pictures, text, audio and videos via twitter and blog to followers across the USA and the world. Then I will follow with more in-depth articles and videos of the experience.

Rationale: Many of us who work or live in Mexico have been frustrated by the one-sided perspective that most US side folks hold to of everyday life in the border areas.

Of course there are serious problems there. Yet when people travel there, almost all of them are amazed at how tranquil it is. So if it is possible to take a larger number of people there via the internet, perhaps they can understand more accurately that actually, there are not serious concerns with tourist travel to Mexico now. More broadly this little journey may help to replace distrust and negativity with respect and interaction.

Perspective: The idea is not to make a political point, but rather to communicate an accurate, on the ground picture of what life is like. I will not carry signs, make political or policy statements, meet with officials, etc. I will simply walk a path across the city to include busy streets, parks, markets, stores, restaurants, etc, and the message will be whatever I experience.

Interestingly as I have been preparing for this walk, 100 % of the people who know something about Juarez have very strong cautions. On the other hand, 100% of the people who live there or who know it well are very positive. Perhaps my observations will help connect these two groups.

Find Dave at and follow him on twitter @CopperCanyonGuy.

So follow me this week starting Thursday night …

Just get onto twitter and follow @coppercanyonguy and also watch my facebook page.

3 Responses so far.

  1. Wayne Wager says:

    Very fun to see you interviewed. I wish we could continue to go to Juarez. AMOR is a superb host and guide for us, but they have suspended all ministry in all of Chihuahua.

    As I might have told you, they rerouted us to Puerto Penasco. It was cool and adventurous, but driving 10 vehicles that far was to long a reach for us. Also, the outcry of parents even on the last trip was almost too much. I’m sympathetic, but wish that fear would not rule the day.

    We are considering going with Casa Por Christo to a location south of Texas and more toward the gulf.


  2. Yes Wayne fear rules the day here in the US- actually I am in Chihuahua City today, another place people say don’t go.
    Problem is fear rules every day as we huddle in the US consuming the food, cars, plastics, and in some cases cocaine etc that come from this dear land and from Juarez in particular.
    You keep going my man!
    What we need to do is address the fear in our own hearts in our own place and then just walk across the gigantic bridge and embrace our friends there. This is all I did.
    Hey the pics are up on the gallery on this site.
    Let me know how I can help your valuable ministry illinilife at the University of Illinois.

    PS: I took a good long run here in”dangerous” Chihuahua City last night and will again in a few minutes. I am writing six blogs on this Juarez experience which will be on this site tomorrow night. Then tonight I will walk over to a 100 year old bar “Antigua Paz”- a relic in Chihuahua City and a true piece of Mexico culture and history. I will enjoy a beer or two and taquitos and yuk it up with the boys and watch some beisbol and later sink into bed…at home in Chihuahua.

    Antigua Paz indeed.

  3. […] U.S.-Mexico border to Ciudad Juárez where he spent the weekend. Dave’s highly publicized Walk Across Juárez is intended to “communicate an accurate, on the ground picture of what life is like” […]

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