Life on the Mexican-US border.

Susana Gallegos

Alex Bullen

Human Geography

December 2, 2013


Life on the Border

            The border of Mexico is quite different from more distant states from Mexico, since the border towns are “connected” to one another. The border stretches between the United States and Mexico. It is an “invisible” line on maps, a physical wall in person. The separation between two countries does not prevent an exchange of popular culture: food, lifestyle, and language are all cultural characteristics that diffuse from place to place; a connection that is impossible to deny.

The United States and Mexico border is nearly 2,000 miles long (International Borders of the USA). I grew up in Mexico, right on the border, in Agua Prieta, Sonora and Douglas, Arizona.  Growing up I notice that the wall that divided the USA and Mexico were always changing. Never paid attention on how the people from my both towns was influenced by the popular culture, until I visit my family from Gomez Palacio, Durango Mexico; I was ten years old, talking to my cousin and I asked her to pass me the “tape” and she looked at me with this blank expression on her face, and replied: “el que?” (the what?) I repeated: El tape, pasame el tape (The tape, give me the tape) and still my cousin did not move. I grabbed it and said well how do you call this, she said, cinta adhesiva. It was the first time I have ever heard that name, and of course that is the correct name in spanish.



When I went back to Agua Prieta, I noticed the spanglish. Words like

pushale- to push, raite- give a ride, parquear- to park, quitear- to quit, lonche- lunch, and many more. Although many people from that live in Douglas, have not really adopted spanish words but they understand them, and the their accent is different as well.

Food is also influence by the two borders. In Agua Prieta we eat a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs, but with a Mexican twist. For example hot dogs that are typically in my home town are wrapped in bacon and with pinto bean, and salsa. There is also many American restaurants in Mexico, like McDonald, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Applebee’s. In Douglas, AZ there were small business selling Mexican food or Tex-Mex food.

Lifestyle personally I believe that the Mexican side of the border have more popular culture than the American side. When I live in Agua Prieta my parents will buy some of the groceries on Douglas. It is common to buy clothes sell in American stores, since in a way there were cheaper than some of the stores of Mexico.  The American side will buy more furniture, decoration, and sometimes pets. Food was not allowed to go through the border back in the states. Monetary also is used in both border, in some stores in Douglas one can pay with Mexican money, and in Agua Prieta one can use American money everywhere in town.


Living in the border I can conclude that the Mexican side of the border has higher influence in some of the American popular culture, but still keeping their own folklore culture. It is a mixture that was easily seen when I visited my family in Gomez Palacio. The border is a different way of living that I would recommend to visit the border and experience the exchange.



Gigi. “Do You Want It in English, Spanish, or Spanglish? :-D.” A Better Me Day                           By Day. N.p., 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2013


“International Border of the United States and the Defense of These                      Borders.” Border Control. Numbers USA, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013


N.d. Photograph. God’s World Photography. Web. 2 Dec. 2013


Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” Cultural Landscape.                                                     Harlow:Pearson Education Limited, 2014. N. pag. 108. Print.




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