Islas Marias

Islas Marias Prison Visit

Islas Marias Prison Visit

Our most unusual prison in Mexico where we visit American citizen prisoners is the island of Islas Marias, sort of a Mexican Alcatraz. The difference is that the least dangerous criminals go to Islas Marias. They live in communal houses and most of them have jobs, so they have a lot of freedom. The thousand or so prisoners can work in maintenance, construction, shrimp farming, cheese-making, woodworking, animal husbandry, horse training, landscaping, etc.

Our morning flight took about an hour to get to the island, and the landing strip placed us alongside the ocean. We visited our six prisoners, then the prison director loaded us in a van and spent a couple of hours driving us all over to island to visit the camps and see their work. The prisoners can actually have their families come visit them and spend a week on the island – while they are there, the prisoners stay with the family in provided housing. And get this – some families actually live on the island. When the prisoner is getting close to release, the family may be eligible to come live there. There is even a school for the children to attend and there are several churches, too. It’s really an incredible set-up.

We visited one of our prisoners as he worked with the pigs – he takes care of them, helps with birthing, does castration, etc. – he really loves what he’s doing. He had 200 piglets when we visited, and of course I had to hold one. It was so cute! And amazingly clean. The pigs seem fond of him, too (they’re very intelligent) – he went over to one huge (and I mean huge) male who was all sacked out and started scratching him under his chin, and the pig started making these wonderful noises of pleasure – so funny!

During the week, I had three interviews for potential DC jobs. It’s pretty nerve-wracking because you just can’t tell if they like you or not, and since it’s by phone you can’t see facial expressions. I just have to wait and see.

Friday night I went to a fun party downstairs at our Canadian neighbors’ apartment – good food and good company.

Yesterday I went to the office to try to get caught up on work, so it will be much nicer to walk into a clean desk on Monday!

Comments are closed.