Often joining a Gang, wearing a rug, collecting Mexican friends,or doing a good works is not enough to banish the feeling that you are a foreigner and a long way from home. So gangs have created portals throughout San Miguel to connect gang members to home. There are many portals and each has its own name such as La Conexion, Solutions, Border Crossings .

When you enter a Portal the first thing you are given is a new address such as this

Missy Silverthorn
PMB# 223
220 N. Zapata Hwy. #11
Laredo, TX 78043

Friends back home can now write you and not have to worry about using those funny little accents ó ì etc. that distort vowels and make them seem unnatural.

Not only can you receive mail you can also send mail and not have deal with the local Post Office that is called for some strange reason Correo in San Miguel, where they don’t speak English.

Look at the joy on this woman’s face when she learns at Border Crossings that she can mail her first letter and not have to struggle in Spanish

High members of Gangs spend many evenings filling the mail boxes at the portals with letters from home so that new gang members will not feel disconnected from home.

Many portals provide internet service and phones.

But they are also places where a gang member can have mailed to them Stuff They Can’t Get Here such as Sandwich Spread and Fluffer Nutter and pickles

Portals are excellent places for Tourists to meet locals and perhaps get a pickle.

*Special Thanks to Jennifer Rose for the concept who has her own take on this activity

The John Frum Gang

The John Frum Gang, a.k.a. The Cargo Cult. Like the natives of Vanuatu, San Miguelenses gather at Solutions, La Conexion and other mail forwarding services awaiting the latest news and merchandise ordered online from the Old Country. Just as they fear entrusting their precious mail to the Mexican postal service, they are reluctant to venture out onto the local economy to explore the availability of and buy wares which can be purchased through a trusted coyote who schleps goods all the way from Texas.

When imported merchandise, stuff like white Worcestershire sauce and canned Italian tomatoes, finds its way into the local emporium, news travels fast. The appearance of Rice-a-Roni, cheddar cheese, or Hires root beer at a local store harkens like the rapture, and the natives charge into the store with the same enthusiasm that offers of free sex and drugs bore for these folks in their salad days.