EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The return of football has made its way to the international boundary between the U.S. and Mexico, where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was recently spotted throwing passes with a teen on the Mexican side.
The game of catch was captured on camera in Juarez and shared on social media. It shows the agent and the teen chucking the football back and forth across the Rio Grande, which is dry this time of year.
The friendly encounter happened just west of Downtown El Paso, which can be seen in the background.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau in Juarez tweeted the short video Monday, saying, “This is the face of the border many don’t know … a Border Patrol agent playing with a Juarez resident on the Rio Bravo.” (The Rio Grande is called the Rio Bravo in Mexico.) Tagged on the tweet is the U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
A Border Patrol official said he could not identify the agent, but called the game of catch a “beautiful gesture.”
“We’re human,” said U.S. Border Patrol Agent Mario Escalante, a spokesman for the agency’s El Paso Sector. “We want people to see that.”
Escalante said he coaches his children’s little league sports teams, so he was happy to see the agent taking the time to throw a few passes.
“There is nothing more beautiful,” he said about playing catch with his own kids.
On the U.S. side of this stretch of the border, El Paso’s residential areas are mostly walled off from the river by the border fence, highways, and, in most spots, the American Canal. In Juarez, there are parks and even fairgrounds right along the river.
When there is water in the Rio Grande, people in Juarez often gather in this area to take a dip or have a picnic on the riverbanks. Likewise, some people have gotten too close to the U.S. side, but border agents on patrol will have them go back.