City of Laredo Celebrates 12th Year of Facilitating Crossing for Mexican Citizens Returning Home for the Holidays

Paisano, Welcome to Laredo

LAREDO, Texas /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For 12 years, the City of Laredo has hosted a Paisano Rest Stop to help Mexican citizens returning home from throughout the U.S. have a smoother experience as they return home for the holidays. This unique bi-national project is offered only in Laredo, Texas. The City of Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau works with the Mexican General Consulate to set-up the rest stop; however, there are many city, state and federal departments and agencies from both sides of the border who come together to provide this service to the paisanos.

This year, the Paisano Rest Stop will be set-up at IH-35 southbound, just off Mile Marker 13 and is set to begin Friday, December 18, at 12 noon and ends at 12 noon on Sunday, December 20, 2009. For 48 continuous hours, the rest stop is staffed with individuals from various agencies, to help review all documents necessary for travelers, as well as any goods or vehicles they may be taking into Mexico. Additionally information about bridge wait times and crossings is given, as well as directions, refreshments, restroom facilities and simply, an opportunity to rest and stretch their legs before continuing on their journey.

This unique binational effort welcomes these often weary travelers and gives them invaluable one stop shop of resources, among the many services provided they can also take advantage of:
  —  Tourism information, such as hotel listings and restaurants;
  —  U.S. Customs regulations for their return trip;
  —  Legitimate nationalization processing business listing;
  —  Complaint and crime reporting procedures with the Mexican Consulate
      and other local agencies;
  —  Volunteer mechanic on standby/on-call to make initial inspection and
      do minor car repairs;
  —  Mexican immigration regulations and forms;
  —  Free copies.

  All of this is done with a smile and of course, in their native language.

“The city of Laredo welcomes the paisanos,” said Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas. “We want their experience here to be positive, restful, and beneficial before they continue on their long journey into Mexico. That is why we host the Paisano Rest Stop to help facilitate their crossing experience and encourage all citizens in Laredo to help them feel welcome. Laredo, Texas does appreciate the work these Mexican citizens are doing in the United States,” Salinas concluded.
Motorists will see and hear signage and radio messages posted starting from San Antonio on south. Local, state and federal officials patrol the roadside on IH-35 South, to offer any assistance to paisanos who might need support of any kind, including security, traffic control support, and road side assistance.

For more information about the Paisano Rest Stop, paisanos should call the Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-381-3360 or visit http://www.paisano.gob.mx/.

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