The night skyline of Ambos Nogales
Nogales, Mexico is on the left and Nogales, Arizona on the right
Ambos Nogales – Both Nogales
Although they are in different countries, these two adjoining border cities are physically separated only by a border wall and three international border crossings.
As such, there are many shared attributes between the two – the natural environment, international customs, freight trains, and of course, the border wall itself.
Both cities shared a close bond and were fairly similar in size until the advent of cross-border “maquiladora” factories in the 1970’s, after which Nogales, Sonora experienced rapid population growth due to an influx of people from various parts of Mexico seeking employment in the maquilas.
Now, Nogales, Mexico is more than 10 times as large as its northern namesake. And along with the size difference Nogales, Sonora is also a more economically active and cosmopolitan city than its sleepy neighbor to the north.
And while you may expect that life on both sides of the border is quite different, in many ways it is very similar. Language, customs, culture and traditions still hold Ambos Nogales in an embrace that can be felt on both sides of the border.