Latingo Border by Hector Mediavilla

Some people believe that the word “gringo” was born during the U.S. invasion of Mexico, when Mexicans said “green go home”. Although this seems apocryphal, over time the flow of people has changed direction, so I decided to use the word “latingo” to refer to this vast frontier traveled by thousands of Latin immigrants.

This is a series of photographs taken along the U.S.-Mexico border in three of the four U.S. border states: Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The borderline is my reference; I try not to go more than 50 miles away. After several years of living in Mexico, I wanted to know what that area looked like, who inhabits it.

Borders are strange spaces, often arbitrary, always subject to politics and negotiation. Much of this land was Mexican territory until the U.S. invasion in 1846. After two years of war, the victory went to the U.S., who drafted the treaty and who took over the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. For Mexico, it meant the loss of 2 million km 2, 55% of its territory at the time.

The current border is a contradictory land. I traveled from place to place as an anonymous visitor. I met people who lived in these places – often their refuge and an escape from a previous life. Often, they thought I was Mexican…

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