Community Development

Fusion on the Border

December 1, 2017  • Latinos and Society Program

Carlos Martinez-Vela, Regina Bernal, Guillermo Mejia, and Ricardo Mora

In cities along the nearly 2,000-mile US-Mexico border, creativity and entrepreneurial success are abundant—but often invisible. To shed light on this region, the Latinos and Society Program joined the Institute of the Americas for a conversation on innovation and culture at the border, where the convergence of two cultures results in a fusion of music, art, architecture, and food. The event explored opportunities for collaboration in the Calibaja mega-region. It focused on ensuring that those contributing to the border economy, often Latino Americans, Carlos Martinez-Vela, Regina Bernal, Guillermo Mejia, and Ricardo Mora Whitney Peterson benefit from what it has to offer. It highlighted the rich tapestry of possibilities in border communities—thanks to both their location and the inherent assets that bicultural groups offer. At a time when some want to close borders, this event highlighted what can be gained by making the most of the potential of the borderlands. “We should harness the energy, creativity, and economic potential of regions like this,” Latinos and Society Program Chair Monica Lozano said.