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A more recent fear is that drugtrafficking operations in Mexico will take advantage of the desperate need of these poor communities. Under the cover of narcos, terrorists might infiltrate as well. In this scenario, ironically, towns like Boquillas may become unwitting pawns in terrorist activity, the exact outcome the Bush administration had hoped to avoid. “I have this analogy I make to a healthy plant,” says Cynta. “If you have a healthy plant and it is getting enough fertilizer and water, there are no parasites. It is a healthy plant, green and alive. But if you draw a line like a border through the center, one half is going to get the nutrients and the other is not, and you’ll see the parasites move in.” So Fronteras tries to bridge the line while Boquillas learns to cope. Eightyone quilts were sold at the Alpine show, and with the money from the sales of copper-wire dragonflies, scorpions, peacocks, and poodles, table-top covers, and straight-out donations, Cynta counts the gross profit at $15,000. Cynta says there was a bidding war for the largest quilt by Juanita Luna. She had worked on it for eight months, and it was still unfinished because she ran out of fabric. Christmas is coming, and Cynta will return to Boquillas with cash for food, propane, and presents, along with the working elements of survival: solar panels, generators, and inverter boxes that allow the sewing machines to run. “I think people really want to give to something here, local, in the neighborhood, especially when it means that the people of Boquillas can stay in Boquillas, safe and without threat,” she says. “Even the most conservative Republican can’t dispute how important it is to keep Boquillas people in Boquillas, rather than force them into humiliating situations like drug trafficking or working illegally in Midland or Odessa.” Karen Bernstein is an award-winning producer of documentaries currently working for Matinee Media and Marfa Public Radio. Will quilting be the difference in the survival of Boquillas? DECEMBER 1, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17