The southern border region is one of the most diverse, economically vibrant, and safest areas of the country. Is a beautiful, welcoming and diverse place that’s home to more than 15 million people that are known for their hospitality and great food.
Sadly, the national dialogue about “the border” has centered almost exclusively on notions of “security” and “enforcement” as well as hyper militarization and walls. Politicians exploit these notions for political gain and to advance policies that are detrimental to the quality of life for the millions of people who live, work and travel through the borderlands.
The truth is it’s easy to figure out what’s really going on here (hint: not a crisis). And if you really want to know what’s going on, ask the locals! For those uninitiated to the wonder that is the southern border region, here are 4 (out of countless) things WE LOVE about the southern border.
The People. There are 15 million people who call the southern border region home, making it one of the most diverse regions in our nation. They value dignity, compassion, and respect the binationalism of our region. The people of the southern border region are some of the most welcoming in the nation. Check out Southern Border Communities Coalition Co-Chair and New Mexico resident Johana Bencomo talk about her love for the the southern border region in this interview.
The Fun! The southern border region is chock-full of so many amazing sights and attractions, it’s hard to choose just one! In San Diego, you can take a tour of awesome and historical murals at Chicano Park, or visit the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. Hop on over to Tucson, Arizona to visit the gorgeous botanical gardens and art galleries of the Tohono Chul Park, or for a climbing adventure, check out the Colossal Caves, where you’ll grapple your way through cavernous mazes of stalagmites and stalactites.
Looking for the perfect Instagrammable spot? There is no place more breathtaking than the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, where the vast pearlescent gypsum sand dunes will lend the most dramatic backdrop to your best selfies. For a spiritual and meditative trip, be sure to visit the gorgeous Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Vale in San Juan, Texas! The Basilica is one of the most visited shrines in North America, and has stunning architecture, beautiful stained glass, and a deep history in the region, dating back to the 1920s.
The Wildlife. The Southern Border Region is one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the nation. Did you know that over 100 species of butterflies that call the Rio Grande Valley home? Did you know that the southern border region houses multiple climate regions, from the balmy mediterranean climate of San Diego, to the hot deserts of Arizona and New Mexico?
The Southern Border Region’s extremely diverse ecosystems are also very delicate ones; Trump’s border wall will devastate the ability of wildlife to thrive, and deeply harm the gorgeous ecosystems (Psst: want to learn more? Check out the top lessons we borderlanders have learned about the dangers of border walls due to decades of border militarization).
The Food! No list of things to love about the southern border region would be complete without a mention of food. Our borderlands are diverse, and so is our food! Come to San Diego for our true binational creation, the California burrito: a soft and fluffy flour tortilla chock-full of carne asada, guacamole, and crispy fries (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it)! In southern Arizona and New Mexico, fry bread is a delicious and versatile treat; try it with butter and honey, or loaded up with meat, salsa and cheese. And don’t forget: if you cross New Mexico without trying at least one thing with Hatch Green Chiles, you’ve made a grave mistake!
The people, the sights, the wildlife and the food are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to really getting to know our home. The southern border region is a place of hope, encounter, and opportunity; we welcome you to visit, to get to know us, to see us for the beauty and wonder we have to offer.