If you ever take the I-95 road going North from South Carolina you will hit South of the Border, a tourist attraction featuring all kinds of fun and entertainment “Mexican-style” para toda la familia. The place includes a dedicated amusement park, Pedroland, named after the site’s “lovable mascot:” a sleepy Mexican called, what else? Pedro. Visitors are greeted by a gigantic sombrero-clad character (Pedro?) who stands guard outside a gift shop, while cars roll between its legs.
Described by its owners as “a unique amalgam of Dixie and Old Mexico” South of the Border offers visitors the added benefit that “its inhabitants speak English and its water is safe to drink.” The tacky tourism oasis employs around 750 people, all of whom are dubbed “pedros,” and features sombrero-shaped restaurants and a mini-golf course aptly called El Golfo de Mexico.
Although one might appreciate the effort by the park’s creator –the late Alan Schafer– its management could use some help from the real Mexicans quickly populating the South to polish the Spanish on its Web site. See? you cannot say “Coméis con Pedro” to pitch the park’s restaurants; nor say “Compramos!” to promote shops, in which you are actually “vendiendo” not “comprando” anything. Hotels and camping sites are for sleeping, not for “siesta aquí.”
And don’t get me started on the sleepy Mexican featured on the “Contact Pedro” page. How on earth is he supposed to answer our emails when he’s always sleeping it off?