Agents caught Ana Lidia Bernal while attempting to cross the Mexican border with her “coyote,” or a smuggler of humans. In a plea deal, she was allowed to continue on to Tulsa — and receive her Social Security card — under the condition that she return to the border in six months to testify against her coyote. When she arrived to testify, she was instead deported and returned to Casa Blanca. (Her Social Security number has been obscured to protect her identity.)
Dr. Jose Luis Navarro Olvera, 25, has spent a
year in Casa Blanca, Mexico, as part of a government health program. He believes
people in the town have changed as their relationship with Tulsa has grown.
Florentina Becerra prepares many meals using
corn, peppers and beans in Casa Blanca, Mexico. She and her husband Manuel have both worked in Tulsa but returned to Casa Blanca.
Manuel Becerra has taught himself to play the
guitar and accordion.
Maria Elvia Gaytán Del Rio (front) and Armando
Gaytán pick guajillo peppers in Casa Blanca.
Workers in Casa Blanca, Mexico, end their day with a drive through the town square and into a dusty sunset.
A show of hands indicates that a large number of sixth-graders in Raul Ramos Casa Blanca classroom have relatives in Tulsa.
The Bernal family leaves their kitchen and heads off to school. Maria Felix De La Torre de Bernal (left) accompanies her children Johny and Briceyda.
Thousands have left the Casa Blanca area and
moved to Tulsa.