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So here it is: our final image, for now, from Borderland [at least for the On The Road Tumblr! Web features and NPR broadcast pieces continue through March 28]. It’s a portrait of five students at Anthony High School outside El Paso, Texas.
We save them for last because they represent the border region and, in some ways, the future of America. Statistically, US border counties tend to be younger than other areas of the United States. They’re often majority-minority counties, with a heavy Latino presence. There’s also a high percentage of people with ties to the outside world: three of our five students were born in Mexico. The truth is that when we talked with these students at length, not all of them said they fully felt American, nor were they all certain the United States accepted them. But at one time or another, something drew all five of our students’ families to this side of the border. One of the students saw his father deported, and still he has stayed.
What was the attraction? Maybe it was just this bright and welcoming high school; but maybe it was something more. Surely some of today’s young immigrants will eventually return home, just as some Italian migrant workers returned home from New York in the 1800’s. But surely others will stay, and make their mark on the United States as past immigrants have done. We do not quite live in a borderless world; but they will complete the crossing. (Photo kainazamaria/NPR)

So here it is: our final image, for now, from Borderland [at least for the On The Road Tumblr! Web features and NPR broadcast pieces continue through March 28]. It’s a portrait of five students at Anthony High School outside El Paso, Texas.

We save them for last because they represent the border region and, in some ways, the future of America. Statistically, US border counties tend to be younger than other areas of the United States. They’re often majority-minority counties, with a heavy Latino presence. There’s also a high percentage of people with ties to the outside world: three of our five students were born in Mexico. The truth is that when we talked with these students at length, not all of them said they fully felt American, nor were they all certain the United States accepted them. But at one time or another, something drew all five of our students’ families to this side of the border. One of the students saw his father deported, and still he has stayed.

What was the attraction? Maybe it was just this bright and welcoming high school; but maybe it was something more. Surely some of today’s young immigrants will eventually return home, just as some Italian migrant workers returned home from New York in the 1800’s. But surely others will stay, and make their mark on the United States as past immigrants have done. We do not quite live in a borderless world; but they will complete the crossing. (Photo kainazamaria/NPR)

Here’s the end of the road trip. We reset the trip odometer at zero when we started at the mouth of the Rio Grande on March 1; it showed 2,428 miles on the evening of March 16, shortly after we passed through the San Ysidro border crossing from Tijuana, Mexico to the United States. Our photographer Kainaz Amaria was in position to take this shot because she was driving, as she did for probably a majority of the trip; she split the duties with producer Selena Simmons-Duffin, and drove safely and without the slightest incident. Yes yes yes, Kainaz stopped the car before she picked up her camera. That time. (photo @kainazamaria/NPR)

Here’s the end of the road trip. We reset the trip odometer at zero when we started at the mouth of the Rio Grande on March 1; it showed 2,428 miles on the evening of March 16, shortly after we passed through the San Ysidro border crossing from Tijuana, Mexico to the United States. Our photographer Kainaz Amaria was in position to take this shot because she was driving, as she did for probably a majority of the trip; she split the duties with producer Selena Simmons-Duffin, and drove safely and without the slightest incident. Yes yes yes, Kainaz stopped the car before she picked up her camera. That time. (photo @kainazamaria/NPR)

When we chatted with Ricky Muñoz of Intocable in Zapata, TX, he bet us we’d hear the band all along the border. Guess he was right; here’s a sign, well over one thousand miles away, announcing that they will be coming to perform on the opposite end of the border in Tijuana. (The border wall is next to the palm tree on the left.) (@selenasd/NPR)

When we chatted with Ricky Muñoz of Intocable in Zapata, TX, he bet us we’d hear the band all along the border. Guess he was right; here’s a sign, well over one thousand miles away, announcing that they will be coming to perform on the opposite end of the border in Tijuana. (The border wall is next to the palm tree on the left.) (@selenasd/NPR)

In this same interlude it doth befall
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
And such a wall, as I would have you think,
That had in it a crannied hole or chink,	
Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,	
Did whisper often very secretly.	
This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth show
That I am that same wall; the truth is so;	
And this the cranny is, right and sinister,	
Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper. 

(@selenasd/NPR)

In this same interlude it doth befall
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
And such a wall, as I would have you think,
That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
Did whisper often very secretly.
This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth show
That I am that same wall; the truth is so;
And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.

(@selenasd/NPR)
Sospeso, a coffee shop in Tijuana, serves coffee their way. “No Modificamos Las Bebidas,” says a sign over the cash register - we don’t modify the drinks. When visiting I asked for a double espresso. “We only have one size of espresso,” said the clerk. It was good, though.  So was the drink in the lower right - cold coffee from a glass drip contraption about three feet high. (Photo @kainazamaria/NPR)

Sospeso, a coffee shop in Tijuana, serves coffee their way. “No Modificamos Las Bebidas,” says a sign over the cash register - we don’t modify the drinks. When visiting I asked for a double espresso. “We only have one size of espresso,” said the clerk. It was good, though. So was the drink in the lower right - cold coffee from a glass drip contraption about three feet high. (Photo @kainazamaria/NPR)

At Playas de Tijuana, where the US-Mexico border ends in the Pacific Ocean, the posts of US wall are painted on the Mexican side, with messages that change depending on where you stand. (@nprinskeep/NPR)

Abe Lincoln lives in Tijuana; he’s one of the statues on the Paseo de los Heroes, a street adorned with monuments, He’s depicted breaking the chains of slavery; but what’s remarkable is how much he changes depending on the angle from which you see him. Here he is with palm trees, the sign of an upscale restaurant, a giant screen TV, and an informal neighborhood on a hillside. He presides over a city of contrasts. (Steve Inskeep @nprinskeep/NPR)