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by Salimeh
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies

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Standard 5: What is the region of the borderlands? The border between the United States and Mexico is a formal border, therefore a formal region separating the two countries. The surrounding area known as the “borderlands” is more of a perceptual region than a formal region. Wildlife exists on both sides of the border, but the issue of endangered species exists in the borderlands because of the introduction of the fences that were put in place. Also the way people live in the borderlands is a great example of it being a perceptual region rather than a functional or formal region. The borderlands are perceptual because of the people who live in it and what they do. People live differently the borderlands than most others. There are street vendors selling souvenirs for people coming into their country, and people crossing the border illegally and legally to find a better life. Many of the people in the borderlands are those who protect the borders, they go after go after undocumented immigrants, human smugglers, and drug traffickers. There are patrol men watching who goes into the countries and those who seem fishy remain in custody in the borderlands. There are large farms where people grow produce to ship back and forth across the border. In other cities and regions, there are some people who do the same things, but not as much as those who live in the borderlands (United States-Mexico Border, n.d.). I think the other main reason is the way we view the wildlife of the borderlands. Since there is some much activity in the Borderlands, there is an effect on the environment that is surrounding it. “Our borderlands to the south comprise one of the biggest ecosystem complexes in North America, with some of the least populated areas and the most important wildlife habitats remaining on the continent”(Borderlands and Boundary Waters, n.d.). There is no doubt that the borderland is rich with wildlife. Jaguars, bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, and many more live in the borderlands. This also includes the immense plant diversity in the area and few precious rivers and lush habitats. Unfortunately because the fence was placed, people who wanted to get to the U.S had to go farther out into the desert to get over the border without getting caught. While making their journey, these people leave behind empty food wrappers, water jugs, and clothes. It is not just those who cross the border, it is also those who try and stop them as well, “increased activities of the Border Patrol, Joint Task Force, and U.S. military — including on- and off-road patrols, road construction, aircraft over flights, military training, depletion and contamination of water sources, installation of stadium-style lights, construction of walls and fences, and intrusive remote sensing and surveillance operations” have caused a great deal of damage to the ecosystem in the borderlands (Borderlands and Boundary Waters, n.d.). They take down plants to create shelters, which in turn affects the animal that needs it for shade. The wall alone has prevented animals from entering either country for migration, which makes the populations decrease. The animals existed before the borderlands did, and they wildlife lives outside it as well, but the endangered plant and animal species is in the borderlands. I think that because this problem exists, we have created this idea of the borderlands, in order to point a finger at someone for the destruction. Environmental change cannot happen if there is not someone to blame. Since the introduction of the fences, communities were created around the border and that is when people began to notice that there was a negative to having created this area. This is why I believe that the borderland is a perceptual region; it was created as a result of having a border and having a negative impact on the environment. It was an excuse to help protect the area, but also a way for people to find a home and create a community.Sources:

Standard 7: The borderlands and upper Arizona have wonderfully preserved geological landscapes.The first image is of Kartchner’s Caverns. You would never guess that beneath these mountains laid large caverns of limestone structures like stalactites and stalagmites.The second image is a small vent next to sunset crater a dead volcano. The dark black coming away from the hole is a dried lava bed.Source:

Standard 4: Most people associate the borderland region with the 2nd image of the fence, were politics plays and human interactions exist. The first image though, is not something you would normally think the borderland is about, but in fact the borderland is rich plant and animal life. Sources:

Standard 6: My mother is French and my father is from Iran. They immigrated to the United States in hopes for a better life and to start a family together. Having such a unique background allows me to understand what people go through to get a chance and making their dreams come true. When I see the Borderlands, I see region filled with people who want to make a better life for themselves and their families. I see a place where cultures can mix together to create new and exciting ones. Seeing my parents mix their cultures and make a life for themselves makes me realize that the borderlands is just another example of a big melting pot of ideas and cultures.

Standard 2: A mental map of how I get to schoolSource: Drawing done by Salimeh

Standard 3: Many cities near the border of U.S. and Mexico have issues with illegal drugs passing through. The Drug Enforcement Agency created a program that would assist cities and states that had large amounts of drug trafficking issues. You can see that the southwest border qualified for assistance and it the southwest region covered more land that was in trouble, than any other region on the map.Source:

Standard 1: A map of border crossings in the borderlandsSource:

Standard 9: This is a census tract of how many people live below the poverty line. Near the border and in phoenix, there is a high concentration.Source:

Standard 10: Whether its celebrating the Day of the Dead (1st image) or eating a taco (2nd image) there is no doubt that the Borderlands has plenty of culture.Sources:

Standard 8: This image shows the different regions of ecosystems within the borderlands. The two biggest regions are the Sonoran Desert and the Chihuahuan Desert.Source:

Standard 18: Killip Elementary is a great school surrounded by history and geology in Flaggstaff Arizona.Source:

Standard 12: Many cities in the borderlands started up as cities to just cross the border, but now have become thriving communities.Source:

Standard 17: Many settlements in Arizona were founded on agriculture like Tempe, but most came to Arizona in search for minerals like Gold.Source:

Standard 11: A lot of our produce comes from across the border. Laborers work hard every day to bring fresh produce to our markets.Source:

Standard 16: There are many natural resources along the border, but in Arizona a lot of natural resources are different minerals that can be collected and made into a profit like copper and gold.Source:

Standard 15: In Arizona, flash floods can come out of nowhere and if you’re not careful you can be swept up by one.Source:

Standard 14: It might not look like it, but the fence along the U.S. - Mexico Border hurts the ecosystems of the borderlands by preventing animals from migrating to the other side like dear and mountain lion. Source:

Standard 13: Part of the cooperation in the borderlands is have U.S. and Mexico watching their border so drug traffickers and undocumented immigrants do not cross over.Source:

The BorderlandsBy: Salimeh Hobeheidar


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