Friends & Neighbors

This month’s Q&A is an interview with Juan Flores, a Border Patrol agent who comes by The Sentinel every day on his coffee break. We sat down and talked about life outside of his work as an agent.

Joseline Cintrón, Juan’s wife, joined us for the conversation. She moved here after they got married in 2013. Joseline works at the Alpine Public Library and also tutors conversational Spanish via Zoom.

Anett Gabriel: What brought you out to Far West Texas?

Juan Flores: I’m originally from Puerto Rico and I applied for work at Border Patrol around May 2009. I got an offer in Marfa and Sierra Blanca. I started the job the same year in June, first at the Border Patrol Academy for a couple of months, and then working as an agent since.

I come from a small town, Villalba, and I didn’t know where Marfa was. It was nothing like what I imagined it to be. Back then, you couldn’t find much on the internet. I only heard from a friend of mine from Houston who told me about Alpine, where I live now with my wife.

AG: How do you like Alpine?

JF: I like the community and life in Alpine, but my only challenge is we’re not able to travel now back home that easily now that COVID has changed things. At Border Patrol, I work five times a week with long days of 12 hours. Usually we would visit back home twice a year, and right now we don’t know when we’re able to fly back home next.

AG: And what do you like about Marfa?

JF: I like the vibe better, when the newer restaurants and bars started to open up, we started to come more. We like to visit our favorite places like The Sentinel, Capri, Cochineal and Stellina.

AG: What do you guys miss the most about Puerto Rico?

Joseline Cintrón: We miss our families and the beach the most. We’re both from the same place and it’s very easy to go anywhere you like, in 45 minutes you can drive down from the mountains to the ocean. And we have nice steady weather –– humid, but it also rains.