mexican theme park

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mexican theme park

  1. 1. The theme park "Parque EcoAlberto" in Hidalgo Mexico, gives visitors the chance to experience the way a Mexican would try to cross the US border illegally. (say what?!) Migrants have crossed illegally from Mexico into the United States and their experience could hardly be more real. Now at a controversial theme park in Mexico, tourists can pretend to be an illegal migrant. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/6390297.stm
  2. 2. This is not Six Flags…. <ul><li>When they said theme park, do not think Knotts Berry Farm or Disneyland. They literally mean you can pretend, instead, to be an illegal migrant. This is no joke. </li></ul><ul><li>People come to the Eco Alberto Park to be shot at, chased and to wade through fast-flowing rivers. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Step right up… <ul><li>For the equivalent of $19.50 , you can spend a night living like the millions of Mexicans who actually risked their lives crossing into the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>The park is nowhere near the border. Apparently most people who come are not anything close to being an illegal immigrant. This idea of a park stimulating the journey of a migrant seems very controversial. What is the purpose?! </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ I came to give solidarity with real migrants. I feel it could be like this” -A tourist at Eco Alberto Park <ul><li>Amnesty International has criticized the whole thing as trivializing the lives of real migrants. </li></ul><ul><li>Poncho does not see it like that. </li></ul><ul><li>A staged death is intended to heighten the drama </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It is serious,&quot; he says, &quot;and it is our way of paying homage to those who seek a better life in America.&quot; </li></ul>
  5. 5. So what do we do first?? <ul><li>The evening begins with a blood-curdling shout by Poncho, our balaclava-wearing head guide. </li></ul><ul><li>The park is based on the idea of a game: </li></ul><ul><li> Imagine this: you are the migrant and you are being chased by fake border patrols. </li></ul><ul><li>Within 30 seconds, you hurtle down a hill. </li></ul><ul><li>Within 40 seconds you are lying at the bottom of that hill, having tripped. </li></ul><ul><li>Then the shooting begins. According to the reporters account they had assured him that the fake border guards were using blanks, but they certainly sounded real. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Come out, we know you are there,&quot; the guards taunt you, as you crouch in your bush with the other park goers. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, more shots, more shouting. </li></ul><ul><li>“ You know it is a kind of game, but all of a sudden it takes on a realism I had not expected.” – tourist at Eco Alberto park </li></ul><ul><li>Bang! And yet another shot and yet another shout. Sirens too. </li></ul><ul><li>You are told by Poncho to stand up. You are witnessing an arrest. </li></ul><ul><li>The migrants that have been 'captured' are taken away.Yes, already for two of your group, the evening is over. They have been &quot;captured&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>The luckless pair are then led off into the night, never, by the group at least, to be seen again. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon, you are off again. During the next sprint, you notice one woman on the ground nursing a blood-stained knee. </li></ul><ul><li>(remember this is for the tourists and she is actually injured) </li></ul><ul><li>You cross fences, tackle rickety bridges and bend double to make your way through tunnels………… </li></ul>
  6. 6. After 5 hours in the park the tourist describes his experience…. <ul><li>“ We came to a wood. And in the wood lay... that fast-flowing river. For several minutes a man in front of me had sneakily been using his torch. It was my visual lifeline. </li></ul><ul><li>Suddenly, he switched off his light. </li></ul><ul><li>He went left, I went right and straight into the fast-flowing river awaiting me. Losing my grip for the first few moments, I thought it was a large puddle. But as the momentum drew me in, so the water level rose. And rose. And with the depth came the speed. Before I knew it, I was swept off my feet. Luckily, there was a small bridge. I clung to it, but by now my feet were being dragged away. This was not so much a bridge over troubled waters, as legs stuck under troubled waters. My grip was loosening. </li></ul><ul><li>The guides realized what had happened and came to me. One grabbed my hand, another tried to grab my jacket. They pulled, I pulled. But the river pulled harder. I simply could not swing my legs out, the force of the water was so great. And something approaching panic was beginning to set in. Another couple of guides appeared and Four men dragged me to safety. </li></ul><ul><li>Dripping wet, I thought, what if I had been a small child? I would never have survived. For me, the evening had been real. I still harbored doubts about whether this was suitable adventure material for paying customers. “ </li></ul>
  7. 7. This sounds very strange… <ul><li>I wonder what people think of this and who would go?? I think it is interesting that they allowed people to make this experience and call it a “theme park”. I guess the theme is illegal immigration. It’s definitely not the “theme” parks we are used to in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think should they have made this park for tourists?? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Some visitors opinions (via USA Today) <ul><li>“ It's an adrenaline rush ,&quot; says Alfredo Trejo, 31, an accountant from Tlalnepantla in the state of Mexico. </li></ul><ul><li>Trejo and a group of family members and friends came not for tips on how to cross the border, but out of curiosity. &quot; Someone recommended it. They said it was fun ,&quot; Trejo says. </li></ul><ul><li>Others, including Estrada, say that they feel a certain empathy for emigrants and that participating for laughs is in poor taste. </li></ul><ul><li>Estrada says she has been on the park tour three times with family members or friends. </li></ul><ul><li>As the border run winds down, participants collapse onto the cold earth, exhausted and dirty. One man has fallen into a rushing stream. A few people are limping. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; We get so immersed in our lives that we forget how much other people suffer ,&quot; says Estrada, from Mexico City, who came this time with eight family members. The group includes her 12-year-old son, whom she says she hopes will never make the real journey. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; I don't want this to just be fun for him ,&quot; Estrada says. &quot; I want him to take home the message .“ </li></ul><ul><li>(source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-28-mexicopark_x.htm) </li></ul>

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