Bryan Winter

Document Type



The Mexico City-Laredo Highway was Mexico’s first long-distance paved roadway linking Mexico and the United States. At a huge total sum of over sixty-three million pesos, the Mexican government—with the help of tens-of-thousands of laborers—conquered Mexico’s vast mountainous landscape to forge a physical connection with the United States. Historians and social scientists have produced a considerable amount of material on the social, racial, and economic influences of American tourism along the US-Mexico boundary, however they have rarely investigated tourism as a mechanism to improve relations between the two countries. By investigating the promotion of friendship, by way of cross-border tourism between both governments, this paper shows that the Mexico City-Laredo Highway played an important role in mending the strained relationship between Mexico and the United States. Additionally, the completion of the route to Mexico City also led to an increased American presence in Mexico, which was vital to not only combating the negative views of Mexico but had also created a heightened sense of Pan-Americanism.