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September 6, 2010 / Steve

Day 248 – Border Town

Imperial Beach is a border town, and I’ve been there many times, but this was my first visit to the actual border on the coast. With all the controversy over border control in recent years, I found it ironic that our border fence right here could be so porous.

As you can see, it doesn’t look like much of a border at all, with gaps large enough for anyone to walk through as they please. There were a bunch of children from the other side of the fence constantly testing the border patrol that was just up on the hill a short distance away. It reminded me of how children sometimes want to do something only when told not to. It’s as if stepping on the other side of the fence gives them a sense of excitement by breaking the rules.

My original motivation for going was just for the imagery, and the hope of capturing something interesting. It turned out to be quite a thought-provoking experience. Our side of the border is a beautiful beach, but desolate. Besides Susan and I, there were two border patrol agents, and a few people riding horses on the beach. On the Mexico side, there was easily hundreds (if not thousands) of people enjoying the beach. Our side of the fence is an estuary, and their side is Tijuana, with suburban neighborhoods right up to the border fence. The contrast is interesting to see in person.

At one spot, there is a place where residents of both countries can stand close, face to face near a monument called Friendship Circle. We exchanged a few words with a couple of people and I took a picture of this woman on the other side of the fence. Aside from the fence picture for day 248, this is my favorite one from the excursion.

A few other pictures from the visit can be viewed here.

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3 Comments

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  1. Sherrie / Sep 6 2010 4:57 PM

    I love this picture. Both the color and the lines of the fence create an interesting mood. I like all the photos from this venture — a very interesting photo subject.

  2. Natalie / Sep 6 2010 4:59 PM

    Very interesting pictures today (yes, I looked at the others). Makes you wonder if some people back for that Mexican beach in hopes of crossing at some point, and what their hopes and dreams and feelings might be over such a decision. And how interesting that the American side is so desolate, really a shame. Were there Mexican patrol agents on the Mexican side? Thanks for this, Steve.

  3. Steve / Sep 6 2010 6:18 PM

    Thanks Sher and Natalie! I’m happy to see that what I felt from the experience seems to carried on with the photos. Having grown up in the US, it’s hard to imagine what it must be like, hoping to get to the other side, hoping for a better life than what’s available to you in your own country.

    I didn’t see any Mexican border agents on their side though…

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