I tracked down my former Butler Amusements carny boss to his small, tropical mountain hometown of Tlapacoyan, now the center of US carnival migration from Mexico. The agent who arranges for these legions of Mexican temporary workers on their trek norte was recently elected mayor of Tlapacoyan, in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
Interviewed Saturday, Salvador along with family and neighbors now face an off-season of being targets for local organized crime bosses who know they have a year’s worth of US dollars saved.
Salvador laughs that his town would be dead if not for American carnivals. Butler warned him and others that US immigration laws may change next year, which he says worries the whole town.
We spent a day touring the town and surprising my former co-workers at their homes. They couldn’t believe their eyes.
I also attended a born-again, fundamentalist church revival with carnies and the readings were from – no kidding – Exodus.