Living in a community geographically located next to the U.S. and Mexico border, cultures become intertwined in a manner where it’s hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. For residents of the Imperial Valley and Mexicali Valley the border and border wall are a constant presence and irrevocable part of their lives.

Since the border was first defined in the second half of the nineteenth century, relations between the United States and Mexico have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. That shifting support has been driven by everything from economics to social and even political concerns. During the Great Depression, Mexican migrants were accused of stealing jobs from U.S. workers and pressured to return to Mexico. During World War II and through 1964, the Bracero program placed Mexican workers in jobs left behind by Americans gone to war. These are just a few of countless examples of the push and pull between the United States and our neighbor to the south.

LAND OF EXTREMES: Life along the border

IVDM staff hang and level the panoramic shot “Bending Fence.”


LAND OF EXTREMES: Life along the border

IVDM staff sort and ready images for hanging. PHOTO IMPERIAL VALLEY DESERT MUSEUM

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