While in Carlsbad, NM, this past winter, we had an opportunity to take a bus through the city of Nogales, Mexico. As does Juarez, Nogales hugs the border with the USA and security is tight, especially for south to north movement, and there are steady streams of pedestrians going both ways. The two cities also have in common the multinational factories located in their suburbs to take advantage of cheap labour available there.
Nogales is growing by leaps and bounds, as they say. Apparently the opportunity for a job is attracting people from rural Mexico and the proximity to the USA may also make the town desirable to some Mexicans.
In response to this rapid growth, Nogales has constructed high density row housing (see photo below) but thousands of people have simply squatted in the hills above Nogales, thrown together dwellings by whatever means came to hand and now live there close to the Multinational factories. (See below) As our bus roared up and down the steep streets of the barrios, we marvelled at the ingenuity of the poor who have to look after themselves. At the same time, we were struck by the squalor and wondered what it would be like to grow up among the wrecked cars, in the dry dust of these hills.