Synergy Spanish

This system teaches you Spanish, the easy way - not the academic way. With only 138 words you will be speaking Spanish.

Click

The Best Vet in Mexicali!

Dr. Rafael, the best veterinarian anywhere; he's close to the border, speaks English and has lived in Arizona! Click

U.S. Federal Benefit Programs

Benefits.gov (www.Benefits.gov) offers information on more than 1,200 Federal and state benefit programs. Simply complete the free and confidential Benefit Finder to receive a list of programs you may be eligible to receive.

Mexican Auto Insurance

This company has been with us since 2008. They are the oldest and best established insurer for those of you travelling to Mexico.
Mexico Insurance

From Baja California’s famous Guadalupe Valley

www.winesfrombaja.com

Carbonite

Carbonite is a secure way to back up your computer. It is also a big help if you have to migrate to Windows 10. It is even a bigger help if your computer gets stolen or your house burns down or you files are locked out by Ransomeware. Be safe for pennies a day! Click for Carbonite info.


New border crossing delay into Mexicali

Calexico/Mexicali Border Crossing

Calexico/Mexicali Border Crossing (click to expand)

It used to take us up to an hour and a half or more to cross the border from Mexicali to Calexico in the U.S. We finally wised up and got ourselves a SENTRI pass for our car, me and Jim. (Matthew has returned to Vermillion, South Dakota for a while). The SENTRI pass cost us $195 for five whole years! Now we make it into Calexico in 10 minutes.

According to the SENTRI website, “SENTRI provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Applicants must voluntarily undergo a thorough biographical background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and terrorist indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check; and a personal interview with a CBP Officer.”

Yeah, we did all that, and “graduated” with flying colors. Now, we have a SENTRI sticker on our truck, and a SENTRI identification card for each of us.

“It makes it like Mexicali and Calexico are just one big town,” said Jim after our first ten-minute trip to Calexico from Mexicali. Of course, getting back into Mexicali from Calexico took no time at all—until recently. Now, there is a long line of cars along Calexico’s main street waiting to cross back into Mexicali. First, Mexico put in an inspection system. Not for passports, but for random inspections to make sure you didn’t have any forbidden items in you vehicle.

The waiting line in Calexico grew longer, finally going on for blocks on Calexico’s main street, Imperial Avenue. The businesses on the right side of Imperial began to suffer as there was no easy way to get to them.

Pizza Hut was one of the first places to go out of business and many other businesses followed.

Now, the U.S. has started what they call, “Outbound inspections.” They don’t do them all the time, but have erected large tents over the street, and divided the lanes going into Mexicali with blocks. Sometimes, but not always heavily armed U.S. agents are on duty. We have seen them conducting vehicle inspections.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), these inspections are for currency, weapons, export violations and fugitives exiting the United States.

Since you are only allowed to take over $10,000 across the border without reporting it on any given day, which “ain’t no problem for us,” according to Jim, the CPB has been fishing for potential “you know what” money according to Jim going into Mexicali.

In August, the CPB arrested a woman who had $829,980 hidden in her gas tank. “Jeez!” said Jim.

And again, in August, some fellow was arrested with $654,900 hidden in his spare tire.

Aside from hurting businesses in Calexico, this delay is a real problem for people who work in Calexico, and live in Mexicali. This even hurts big Mexicali stores like Wal-Mart who get a major part of their business from Mexicali.

“This is just stupid,” said Jim. “You would think that, instead of lining folks up on Imperial, that they would line’em up on West 2nd where there ain’t no business.”

Jim was so right—as usual.

As I wrote my blog, Jim, who was watching over my shoulder, said, “Better change that to ‘—as always.’”

For further information on Calexico, and Calexico School Yearbooks, see below:

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