September 29, 2016
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Group Helps Latinos Get Home For The Holidays

 LAREDO, TX  -- For 13 years, the City of Laredo has hosted a Paisano Rest Stop to help Mexican citizens returning home from throughout the U.S. have a smoother experience as they head home for the holidays.  This unique bi-national project is offered only in Laredo, Texas.  The City of Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau works with the Mexican General Consulate to set up the rest stop; however, there are many city, state and federal departments and agencies from both sides of the border who come together to help the paisanos.

The Paisano Rest Stop will be at IH-35 southbound, just off Mile Marker 13, beginning Friday, December 17, at 12 noon and closing at 12 noon on Sunday, December 19, 2010.  For 48 continuous hours, the rest stop has individuals who help review documents necessary for travelers, as well as any goods or vehicles they may be taking into Mexico. Information about bridge wait times is given, as well as directions, refreshments, restroom facilities and simply an opportunity to rest and stretch their legs.  

Additional information given includes:

  • Hotel and restaurant listings;
  • U.S. Customs regulations for return trip;
  • Legitimate nationalization processing business listing;
  • Complaint and crime reporting procedures with Mexican Consulate and local agencies;
  • Volunteer mechanic on-call to do initial inspection, minor car repairs;
  • Mexican immigration regulations and forms;
  • Free copies.

All is done with a smile and in Spanish.

"Laredo welcomes paisanos," said Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas.  "We want their experience in Laredo to be positive, restful, and beneficial before they continue into Mexico.  We host the Paisano Rest Stop to help facilitate their crossing experience here because Laredo, Texas does appreciate the work these Mexican citizens are doing in the United States," Salinas concluded.  

Motorists will see signage and hear radio messages posted from San Antonio on south.  Local, state and federal officials patrol the roadside on IH-35 South, to offer assistance to paisanos that need help, including security, traffic control, and road side assistance.  This year, the exit to the rest stop will be marked with extra signage and lights, especially for those traveling at night or who may not be familiar with the turn-off to the facility.  Motorists who have not stopped before are encouraged to before continuing on their journey.  

Paisanos returning to Mexico through Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas should take Bridge I to avoid traffic congestion along IH-35 at Bridge II.  Motorists exit Del Mar Exit #4 and will be on Santa Maria Avenue; follow Santa Maria south to Bridge I.  

However, for those motorists who do travel on Bridge II, portable restrooms will be located at key intersections along Santa Ursula.



STORY TAGS: HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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