I've lived on the border in Ambos Nogales for 25 years.
Me encanta la vida fronteriza.
I'm a high school teacher, writer and photgrapher in Nogales, AZ. Please see my photography at:
In Ambos Nogales the narco-violence prevalent in most U.S. – Mexican border cities is less; the lower level of violence is a direct result of the community connection that existed before and since the “Battle of Ambos Nogales” on Tuesday, August 27, 1918.
I saw them, the ghosts, or so I thought, and my illusion resulted in a new fantasma “living” on this highway. What I realized later, is that he, my fantasma, was just another victim of the American drug war on Mexico at the border.
Spending two hours at the school to see the challenges faced by rural schools in Mexico opened my eyes to reflect on my own teaching experience. What I saw was that education as the great equalizer is often unequal in the resources available to a school, but poor schools often equal equal academic success.
NOGALES, Ariz. — I remember what it was like all the days when I was ten, mi mama dijo, “Mijo vete a comprar unas tortillas.” So I walked out the door to the Morley Street garita, crossed the line and went to the tortillería. Regresé con una docena. One day, in 1973, mi tia Meli decided to get a job at department store right at the line on the American side. She went to the Morley Street garita and told the U.S. migra man, “I’m just going over to Bracker’s to ask for job.” He said, “OK, go ahead, they have all the papers you’ll need.”
In 1976 we walked from Nogales to Nogales from the movie theater at 12 o’clock at night.
NOGALES, Ariz. — U.S. citizens can be deported, so says the law, if their non-citizen parents are deported and they are under 18 years of age. That’s what almost happened to Maria, one of my students, and her 10-year old brother. Keeping her spot at our school was so important to them that when her mom was deported they decided to leave Maria, then a high school junior, and her brother here. Her mom was making pretty good money cleaning the houses of Anglos in Nogales, Arizona, where a domestic cleaning-lady employment underground thrives.
It is faith that leads hundreds of Mexicans from the state of Sonora to walk 50 or more miles each October in a little-know yet significant religious pilgrimage from Nogales, Sonora to Magadalena, Sonora.