GALLERY: The border communities of the Rio Grande Valley, where Mexico is in their backyards

Across the border from Reynosa, Mexico, resides the Rio Grande Valley, home to some of the southernmost resides in Texas. Several towns and cities – McAllen, Hidalgo, Mission, San Juan just to name a few – make up this community of communities, where immigration of both the legal and illegal variety is a way of life.

Here, casas de cambio, or currency exchange stations are as common as gas stations; signs advertise merchandise in both English and Spanish; and local shops rely on the business of those who live in Mexico.

Many residents here say they live with the misconceptions, especially from those who have never seen the area with their own two eyes, that the borderland is dangerous. In reality, McAllen, located just 10 miles north of the border, has been cited as one of the country’s safest cities. And, between 2011 and 2017, crime in the city has decreased by 32 percent.

“Here we just go with the flow,” one of the region’s longtime residents said.

 

Hidalgo County is primarily Hispanic and overwhelmingly blue, having voted for Barack Obama in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Beto O’Rourke in 2018.

 

 

All photos taken by David Lynch. Follow him on Instagram at @alexlynch695

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