The City of Laredo for the past 21 years has hosted a Paisano Rest Stop to help Mexican citizens returning home from throughout the U.S. and Canada.
This unique bi-national project is only offered in the warm and welcoming community of Laredo, Texas. The City of Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau works with closely with the Consulate General of Mexico in Laredo to set up the rest stop with the assistance of many city, local, state and federal agencies and Mexico who come together to help the paisanos.
The Paisano Rest Stop will be at IH-35 southbound, just off Mile Marker 13, beginning Friday, December 20, at 12:00 p.m. and closing at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 22, 2019.
The rest stop has individuals who can help review and provide documents and guidance necessary for travelers. Information on bridge wait times, directions, simple mechanic help, refreshments, clean restroom facilities and an opportunity to rest and stretch your legs and ask questions with our helpful volunteers is all part of this free experience.
“It’s that time of year again where we welcome visitors from all over the country and send blessings as they travel to be with family,” said Mayor Pete Saenz. “Laredo is the only city that welcomes paisanos on this level, and we do it out of the goodness of our heart. We have formed partnerships with many entities to make sure locals and visitor alike have a great experience this season and that everyone gets home safely.”
Mexican Immigration authorities will have computer workstations for travelers to process their travel documentation electronically. The City of Laredo encourages visitors to make sure they have all the proper documentation with them; this will help provide for a smoother and faster experience.
Additional information provided at the Paisano Rest Stop includes:
· Hotel and restaurant listings
· U.S. Customs regulations for your return trip into the United States
· A listing of legitimate local nationalization processing businesses
· Complaint and crime reporting procedures with the Consulate of Mexico in Laredo and other agencies
· A volunteer on-call mechanic to perform initial inspections and minor car repairs
· Mexican immigration and consular regulation information and necessary forms
· A printer to make free copies of your documents
Staff from the City of Laredo, the Consulate General of Mexico and different participating agencies will be at the rest stop to provide helpful information and assisting in any way possible to help make their stop at the rest area a pleasant one.
Signage and electronic messages has been advertised from San Antonio on south. Local, state and federal officials will be patrolling the roadside on IH-35 South to offer assistance to paisanosincluding security, traffic control and roadside assistance. The exit to the rest stop will be marked with extra signage.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is offering the Texas Travel Information Center, located on the northbound side of IH-35 at Hwy 83 as an overnight parking facility with restrooms available 24 hours.
Paisanos traveling to Mexico by way of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, should take Bridge I to avoid traffic congestion along IH-35 at Bridge II. Motorists exit Del Mar Exit #4 to Santa Maria Avenue; follow it south to Bridge I, as you arrive closer to downtown, additional signage will route you through to the international bridge.
Along the alternate route to Bridge I, off of Santa Maria Avenue, portable bathroom facilities at various locations along the route that will be marked with specific Paisano signage.
Paisanos wishing to avoid congestion all together can take Colombia Solidarity Bridge (Bridge III) into Colombia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Call the Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-361-3360 for bridge hours of operation.
For regular AVI motorists who cross daily, there will be a special designated crossing route at Bridge II to avoid the downtown paisano congestion beginning the morning of December 18 and will remain in place until December 26.
Local motorist should be aware of the additional holiday traffic in the upcoming days and exercise caution and patience when traveling in the downtown areas and around major retail centers.
Finally, for up to date changes to laws regarding Mexican citizens returning home to Mexico for the holidays and vehicle importation laws, as well as, for U.S. or other foreign nationals traveling into Mexico, concerning the documents they must have to facilitate this process, please consult Mexican authorities.
For more information, visit www.gob.mx/paisano or download the “Que T Traes” app on your smartphone for up-to-date and accurate information.
For more information about the Paisano Rest Stop, paisanos should call the Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-361-3360 or visit us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/welcomepaisanostoLaredo.
The Laredo CVB will have phone calls forwarded into the tent from December 20-22, and the 800 number will be answered throughout the 44-hour operation of the Paisano Tent.
Mexican authorities are also on-line at www.gob.mx/inm or social media Facebook & Twitter @progamapaisano.