A new tour promises to show tourists the "truth" about the life, dynamics and problems on the border between Arizona and Mexico.
"We want people to see life on the border with their own eyes," tourist guide Bob Feinman told Efe.
The 8-hour bus tour that visits a number of places of interest in and around the border city of Nogales, Arizona, costs $75 per person and leaves twice a month from Tucson.
Tourists can observe first-hand one of the various water stations established by the Compassionate Borders organization to save lives among undocumented immigrants crossing the scorching Arizona desert.
All most people know about the border is what they see in the media and what politicians tell them, Feinman says.
The news generally concentrates on illegal immigration and the violence of Mexican drug cartels.
For that reason the tour "Border Crisis: Fact and Fiction" seeks to have the border speak for itself and let participants "make their own conjectures," Feinman said.
The tour goes through a Border Patrol checkpoint at the entrance to Nogales, where tourists get the chance to see it in action with all its non-stop car and pedestrian traffic headed both north and south.
Also included is a visit to the ranch of Dan Bell, a member of a family that has lived on the border for three generations.
"The problem is that you never know what you're going to find, you don't know if the people coming onto your property are just looking for work and a better life or if they're up to some kind of some criminal activity," Bell told a group of 12 people who took part in the tour last Friday.
Feinman noted the different lifestyles on the border, from people who work on ranches and in agriculture to Mexican businessmen and visitors who cross the border legally and whose purchases boost the local economy.
The guide said the tour organizers have no political agenda, they merely want participants to be able "to see and listen to" what the border is all about.
"I think it was a very informative tour. The information we get from the media is very limited and this trip gave me a broader view of a very complex subject," Joe Pisconski from the city of Oro Valley told Efe when the excursion was over.
He said that the tour opened his eyes as he became aware of the border's extremely complex dynamics.
The tour organizers have programmed trips until early December, and will increase the frequency if the public's response is favorable.