U.S-Mexico Borderlands

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by molly2003
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies

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U.S-Mexico Borderlands

The Mexican-American Borderlands

Map of the U.S.-Mexico BorderlandsSource: Political Map of North America. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2015, from http://www.worldmapsatlas.com/north-america/north-america-political-map.html

A mental map from my home to Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona (Drawn by Allison Hunt)

The general trend of this map is that the closer to the Mexican border, the more dense the foreign born Mexican population compared to the entire foreign population as a whole. Far east has a very low percentage of foreign born Mexicans as opposed to other foreign born individuals. However, i was initially suprised by California not having as high of their foreign population being Mexican. I then considered the fact that many individuals come into America through California, not just Mexicans, and the trend made more sense. Idaho has a high population of it's foreign born citizens being Mexican, and it is the only one over 50% in it's region. Also, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin all have a fairly large population of their foreign born citizens being Mexican, which struck me as odd as well since they are so close to Canada.Source: Map 2. Mexican Born as a Percentage of the Total Foreign-Born Population by State, 2006. (2006, January 1). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/source_charts/map2-spot-apr08.cfm

The borderland contains both developmental and climate characteristcs, the development varing drastically on either side of the border, and the climate of the Chihuahuan desert bringing a unique atmosphere to the Borderlands.Source: Win a Destination Wedding Package in Mexico - My Hotel Wedding. (2013, July 18). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.myhotelwedding.com/2013/07/18/destination-wedding-package-in-puerto-vallarta-mexico/

I feel that it makes the most sense to conssider the borderlands a functional region. The definition of a functional region is a region that is made up of different places that are linked and function as a unit. The presentation suggested that many of these regions are also centered around a "node". The borderlands are in fact made up of many "formal" regions, and this area is focused around the border between Mexico and Arizona. It wouldn't make sense to classify it as a formal region, because the node of focus, the Mexican/American border, is the only thing tying together these regions. Also, It isn't very perceptual, because there are clear "lands", which themselves are formal regions, that have actual contact with the border.Source:s: Functional Region - Free online Course on World Geography. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://www.openlearningworld.com/World_Geography/l8s2.htmH., R. (n.d.). Functional Regions. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://grade7geography.wikispaces.com/Functional Regions

I have lived in the Southwest my entire life, so I have a pretty good understanding of what life is like near the border. From my expereince, I would say that I have been exposed to many stereotypes about the borderlands, though I have found many of them to not be all that true. I would say, oeverall, that my experience in the Southwest has given me the ability to distinguish what is really going on near the border, and to have a certain amount of sensitivity toward the many issues regarding it.







This mountain located in Sedona, Arizona shows the differnce between a cliff face and slickrock. Slickrock is formed by the wearing of a strong mineral into a smooth surface, while a cliff face is formed by the collapse of a weak mineral layer.

These Ephemeral Washes located in McDowell, Arizona are a part of the unique Borderland geography. These streams only fill up after a heavy rainstorm, with no ground water supply to keep them full for the rest of the year.


These are just a few images I captured through the use of Google Earth in order to show just a couple of the many physical processess that make up the beautiful physical geography of the borderlands.

There are a vast array of ecoregions that make up the borderlands. Most fall into the category known as "semi-deserts", and the distinctions can be seen in the map to the left.Source: Ecoregions of North America. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/ecoregions/products/map-ecoregions-north-america/#


Religion varies greatly along the border regions. It seems that most of the Mexican half of the border is populated by Catholics, and it bleeds into the U.S. side as well along the borderline. This could show a spreading of the religion, or a migration of the people who come from a Catholic background. It peeters out into a more Christian population the further into the U.S. territory the map goes.Source: National Geographic: Images of Animals, Nature, and Cultures. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/


There is so much diversity in the culture along the borderlands, which makes it such an inviting place to visit or even live. The rich religious ideals and amaxing food are just a few amazing aspects of this wonderfully unique land.Sources: Why All The Hate for Tex-Mex? (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.kcet.org/living/food/food-rant/why-all-the-hate-on-tex-mex.htmlhttp://churchbox.blogspot.com/2012/12/famous-churches-basilica-of-our-lady-of.html


Mexico and the U.S heavily reluy on eachother for economic purposes. exports versus other countries in the world. It shows that we export more to Mexico than any other country, which really shows that we have very strong ties with them, economically speaking.Source: Looking at US/Mexican Economic Interdependence. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.panoramas.pitt.edu/content/looking-usmexican-economic-interdependence


Towns in the borderlands have many differnt purposes and historical backgrounds. Naco, Sonora, Mexico, as many other border towns at the time of the war, served as a site for battles during the Mexican Revolution.Source: Epic of Bisbee. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://epicofbisbee.com/2014/01/art-imitates-life-revolution-style/


Though Mexico and the U.S. have their differences, they come together to solve many mutual problems. The transborder drug cartels are a major problem for both the U.S. and Mexico. America and Mexico have worked together in order to limit the actions of these cartels, and make their lands as safe as possible from these drug smugglers. It only makes sense that the two countries would work together to take down a problem that has plagued them both for years, and it makes me feel safer to know that the governements are mutally doing everything they can in order to disband these cartels.Source: U.S.-Mexico Cooperation Against Cartels Remains Strong. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stratfor/2013/05/16/u-s-mexico-cooperation-against-cartels-remains-strong/


Humans are constantly altering the environment to adjust to the needs of the masses. The Central Arizona Project brought Tuscon river water successfully through the implementation of a canal system. In this picture, we can see how humans have redirected water into an environment it previously wasn't. Also, we can see that in order to bring that water there had to be a large crevice dug into the ground for the canal to go through. lastly,. we see that the canal floods out to the sides, which has caused extra vergetation to grow. I took this image using Google Earth.


The environment can also have a great effect on human geography as well. In Arizona, part of the borderlands, there is frequent flash flooding, which can greatly impact the safety of those on highways or even just regular streets.Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/wliwk/picture_taken_from_the_flash_flood_yesterday_in/


The borderlands are full of pricelss resource. In Las Vegas, Nevada, we see how humans are utilizing the abundance of solar radiation and converting it into solar energy. This makes the humans need to have a business to run these solar panels, whichcreates jobs for the people of the nation. I took this picture using Google Earth.


Environmental fetautres can easily shape the way people settle the land. Many southern towns in Arizona were formed because people needed to live in close proximity to the mines, where they would work to make their living.Source: Arizona Major Mines 2012 | Arizona Mining. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.azmining.com/mining-in-az/az-major-mines


This elemantary school in the Chandler Unified School District provides great community access and a wide range of living options. Humans have used geography to their advantage in order to provide a good, educational community fo their children. This image is from Google Maps.



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