Guest Post: Border Town Healthcare
My father questioned if my passport was current. I grabbed it out of the drawer and realized its validity. Soon I would be taking a trip to Los Algadones, Mexico with my mom and dad.
I have never seen so many optical offices, dentists, and pharmacies in one square mile. Sidewalks were crooked, unlevel and in some places absent. Jewelry vendors placed bracelets on my wrist before I could say, “No thank you.” Prices decreased the longer I stood still. It’s a shame I didn’t bring more than $80 in my wallet as I could have done my Christmas shopping all in one day!
Within five minutes of our arrival, my mom signed the paperwork for an eye exam and began trying on stylish frames. I was led to a dental office waiting my turn for a cleaning. My dad sat next to me teasing me not to let them talk me into selling one of my kidneys for $5,000. I was relieved when he left to go across the street to buy antibiotics at the Purple Pharmacy. At first, I felt nervous as I reclined in the dental chair but to my surprise, it was the most gentle and efficient cleaning I ever had.
I found the Mexican people very helpful and eager to please. They were persistent and surprised me how they remembered my name!
We ate lunch in a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant that served us excellent fish tacos. Sugar cane is probably not the best choice after just having my teeth cleaned, but that Coke Cola sure tasted good on such a hot day in Los Algodones.
The words: No Thank You must have spewed from my lips ten dozen times that day when I was asked to buy purses, jewelry, fans and yard art.
On one street corner, I saw a pay phone that must have been from 1985 and I felt like I stepped back in time.
There were brightly colored storefront shops as well as new construction going up and dilapidated buildings too.
I’m already planning my next trip back to Los Algodones where healthcare is cost effective and the savings are worth haggling with aggressive street vendors!
Written by my oldest daughter, Amy. She is married to Mark and they live and work in the Verde Valley in Arizona.