Migration & Culture/Koptiuch
Nogales Fieldtrip Reports

Kelly Doll

The trip to Nogales, Sonora was interesting and informative.  I had only been to Mexico once before, and back then, I did not pay much attention to the real goings-on around me.  I was merely in a car trying to reach my destination, which was the beach.  There are many things that could be written about the trip to Mexico on October 4th, but I will only describe a couple.

The most interesting part of the trip, to me, was the lunch in the colonia.  I had never really lived poverty like that before, not that I was truly living it then.  But I did get a taste of what such families go through living in those areas.  I felt bad for the woman host, as she told us about the weather, which was bad at times, and how she and her family just had to try to get through it.  Living in the United States, it was easy for the guests to ask if she wanted to get out of there.  In our mind, that sort of life was unlivable.  However, she seemed to have no real desire to leave her home.  It was her home, after all, and her family around her was of the most importance.  I also thought it was interesting that our host wore a shirt that said "Canada."  I couldn’t help but wonder if she had gotten that shirt as a gift or a handout.  Assuming it was a handout, it makes a bold statement about the people living in Mexico in her situation.  Even her clothing does not portray a true representation of the person in it.  Would she rather be wearing a shirt that portrays her pride for her own country, or has she none living in her condition?  To not bask on the notion, I like to just think that she got the shirt from a friend.

Another important part of the trip was seeing the border/wall up close.  Rick said it was sixteen feet high, and made out of landing strips from the gulf war.  To me, using material from a war to make a wall between countries is also a bold statement.  Perhaps the government is just trying to keep the migration phenomenon in check.  I would argue, however, that a more brash statement was being made.  The wall makes up the border between a ‘them’ and an ‘us’.  It implies an insecurity of foreigners.  It also makes evident just how much the United States believes migrants to be a nuisance.  I am sure that the wall has its uses.  To me, though, it just made me feel all the worse for those on the other side trying to come here for a better life.

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