As we were filming Life on the Line, we met many communities of people living on the U.S./Mexico border. Folks living in the borderlands face a variety of challenges. The border can be a violent and dangerous place at times, but most of the violence we’ve heard so much about in news reports isn’t coming from the people who live there. These communities are caught up in the middle. Young people in particular, in addition to facing the regular challenges of growing up, face socioeconomic issues, racial tensions, bullying, health access issues, violence, and a host of issues related to their parents’ immigration statuses. What follows are collections of stories from border communities. Together they share personal stories about these issues from diverse points of view.
This collection of stories was produced by Fine Line Films in association with Las Latinitas during a two-day digital storytelling workshop in El Paso, Texas. (See behind the scenes photos from our workshop here.) Each young Latina featured here shares a personal story that affected her life, and the stories contain their own creative photographs and scans from their family archives.
Adriana’s story is about a scary time when her mother lost her passport.
Crossing the border one day, Aileen’s mother was hit by a car and saved Aileen’s life.
Elaine’s story is about why her mother can no longer cross the border.
Eslie has experienced some violence, so she plans to protect her new baby brother.
Priscilla can no longer see her father.
Roxy shares a story about her father being deported.
Stephany’s father’s papers were taken away when he was arrested, but he’s like a new person now that he’s back.
Yesenia’s father was deported, and she missed him so much.
These stories were produced by young people and Fine Line Films in association with El Viento during a three-day digital storytelling workshop. (Learn more about the workshop in this behind the scenes video.) Each of the stories is a brave and creative first-person story.
In her story, Yazmin talks about how domestic violence affected her and her family as she grew up.
Joshua shares a personal story about being bullied and helping other youth.
After suffering from OCD for a while, Laura finally got her parents to accept that something was wrong.
Vanessa shares how her migrant parents suffered for so many years so she could have a better life. Now she’s determined to make them proud.
Collection 3: Stories from Arizona bordertowns
This collection, produced by Fine Line Films with editing assistance from Bobby Moser, features young people and ranching families from border towns across Arizona. Many Americans have heard about Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070. In these stories, we hear personal accounts from youth and ranchers dealing with different issues related to immigration policies in Southern Arizona, a place that is changing rapidly.
Gabby Lunow was raised on a ranch near the border. Her cowgirl lifestyle isn’t always easy.
As her English is still developing and shortly after losing her father, Maria Guerrero has had a rough year in life and at school.
Luis lives within sight of the border in Nogales. An aspiring rapper, Luis is trying to catch up in school so he can get to college.
When a neighbor of ranchers Wendy and Warner Glenn was shot by a drug smuggler, their ranching community of Southern Arizona became more fearful.