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Nogales: Two Cities, Two Countries, Common Ground

“Please don’t write another story about drugs,” Sigrid Maitrejean, a volunteer guide at the Pimeria Alta Museum inside the old city hall in Nogales, Ariz., beseeched me in a playful tone. It was not the only time during my three-day visit to the region that people would make a similar plea: enough of the endless media stories and political rhetoric about the supposedly dangerous United States-Mexico border, which only serve to keep visitors away.

Residents of this town of 20,000 souls wanted me to see the Nogales they see: a place steeped in layers of rich history and culture, which maintains a uniquely special relationship with its namesake and sister city across the border, Nogales, Sonora. And indeed, in the two Nogaleses — or Ambos Nogales, as locals refer to them — I found the most quintessential of all the border cities… read more >

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