|Pancho Villa—a larger than life statue in Las Palomas.|
Today, a larger-than-life bronze statue of Villa astride horseback stands in front of the municipal buildings of the tiny town of Las Palomas, where the major industries now are tourism and dentistry.
Once you go you understand why. Convenience and price.
It's a two hour drive from Truth or Consequence, NM. We did it early before the hot late summer sun had a chance to heat the parched earth. The border crossing was manned by sleepy-eyed officials on both sides. There was no line.
For many Americans Las Palomas is the destination, and so it is easier to park on the U.S. side and walk across. That is what we did.
I had come to see dentistry, Mexican style, at work, and was there with two friends: one getting three crowns; the other, three fillings, a mouth guard, and a cleaning. The dentist: Ricardo Salazar.
|Dancing after dentistry.|
And in an hour all was done, and we were out the door. Unlike at most U.S. dental pratices the crowns and mouth guards were made on premise. No waiting. No need to come back later. The ultimate walk-in clinic.
But the reason most norteamericanos come to Mexico for dentistry is not convenience but price. The fillings were $35 each. The crowns were $300 for a high-end, all porcelain crown, $150 for one partly metal.
Dentistry done, we walked the hot and dusty town, visited a friend, and had lunch at the Pink Store, known for its line of gifts and souvenirs, especially pottery and porcelain.
While we ate a band played. My friends got up and danced.
Although the U.S. border lies just a few hundred yards to the north, it seemed we were momentarily in a different world. A stress meter somewhere had down-clicked four notches. Maybe more.
Afterwards, we walked back to crossing. The Mexican authorities waved us through. The U.S. agents looked at our passports.
"Anything to declare?"
Back on the road again and on the way home.