LOS ALGODONES, Mexico — “Hello, my friends, are you looking for a dentist?” Pablo says, hopping off his perch on a shaded railing at the border crossing into the mid-May morning sun.
Wearing medical scrubs and a welcoming smile, Pablo introduces himself, his hand seamlessly producing a business card from his breast pocket between handshakes. “We have the best prices in town,” he says, confidently running through a litany of dental procedures his employer offers.
It’s a pitch Pablo makes dozens — perhaps hundreds — of times a day to tens of thousands of dental refugees who stream across the border at Yuma, Arizona, each year seeking the affordable dental care they only dream of back home. With an astounding 600 dentists in this town of just 6,000, competition for customers is brisk. And there is no shortage of them.
“Buddy, it’s a mine for us,” Pablo tells me.
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