Unique Tourism: Mock Illegal Border Crossings

Ever wanted a taste of life as an illegal immigrant? Try a nighttime hike in the Hñahñu Indians’ Parque EcoAlberto, guided by a man in black clothes and a ski mask.

“The idea here is to raise people’s consciousness about what immigrants go through,” according to tour guide Alfonso Martinez. But, while many of the guides at Parque EcoAlberto have indeed crossed the border, this park, 700 miles from the actual crossing, is tame in comparison. Mock Border Patrol give chase with sirens and lights, and the hikers are warned to hit the ground if they hear gunshots, but it’s all for show — the only real risk posed to the border-crossing tourist is a sprained ankle.

About 3,000 tourists have taken the hike since 2004, but what about you? Any interest in walking the path of an illegal immigrant?