In 9 days, the Moya brothers travelled the 2,000 miles from Brownsville, Texas to meet people on both sides.
The trip resulted in the powerful Instagram series, Border Perspective.
"The purpose of this project is to gain and share a fuller perspective on what the border is really like. We have no agenda - only to document life on the border and learn by listening to the perspectives of the people who live there," they write in the successful Kickstarter pitch, "As we take part in different dialogues, we want to have a fuller understanding of a place that we call home and share this knowledge with others."
The Moyas feature stunning portraits, with captions in both English and Spanish.
In Nogales, Arizona, Border Perspectives introduces us to Peg Bowden, a retired nurse who works at a migrant shelter on the other side.
Jose is a recent deportee, who has been coming to the shelter to help, and to paint.
Jose was deported to Mexico about 3 months ago and has been coming to the migrant shelter ever since. Shortly after his arrival, he started putting his passion for art to work. He portraits "the journey of the illegal immigrant" in many of his paintings. His portrayals are very realistic. Very often it's the people sitting around him at the shelter, who are attempting to make their American dream a reality by attempting to cross into the U.S. through the very treacherous Arizona dessert.
Antonio proudly wears a jacket with flags of both Mexico and the United States.
While watching the sunrise over El Paso & Ciudad Juarez, a man drove up in his motorcycle. As he pulled up I could tell that he seemed lost. "Buenos Días" he said in Spanish. Through our conversation, I learned his name was Antonio and found out that by his age, he should be retired. Antonio crossed the border checkpoint earlier that morning looking for work in the US. He was confused by the address where he was suppose to meet his boss and asked if I could call and ask for better directions to his work site. I gladly pulled my phone out and started dialing the number. I asked Antonio about the type of work he did, "I've been working with cement most of my life and have been coming to work in the US for many years", he shared. Antonio comes to work in El Paso since there are no jobs in Ciudad Juarez for someone his age. In order to provide for his family he continues to find work on this side of the border. Through our interaction with Antonio, we learned that people in this border town are not only united by the language they speak but have a great desire to work and provide for their families, just like many people across our country. Before Antonio left for his job site, we asked about his jacket since he had the US flag stitched to his left sleeve and the Mexican flag stitched to his right sleeve. Antonio was very proud to have both the Mexican and US flags on his jacket, "it's a perfect representation of who I am" he shared with us.
They met Eddie, he was involved in fighting cartels and corruption when he was young.
While eating breakfast at a local Mexican place in El Paso, we noticed an older man sitting alone at the table next to us. Eddie, 86, eats breakfast at this local place every morning, he was having a large coffee with a bowl of oatmeal when we sat down and talked with him. In a few short minutes he shared with us a story from his childhood, his broken relationship with his father, his unfavorable view of politics, corruption, law enforcement and about the drug war that happens along the border. Of course at 86, there's so much to talk about. Eddie shared with us that he was personally involved in fighting against corruption and drug cartels when he was young. "Things haven't changed much", Eddie answered when asked if he's seen any positive change. Eddie doesn't think the border's changed for the better but that life on the border is tougher now because of organized crime. "Corruption and drugs have infiltrate many of our institutions", he shared with us. I'm sure Eddie had enough stories to share with us if we had all day with him. Eddie now spends most of his days working with his son at a local mechanic shop on the south side of El Paso.
Enrique had just been deported to Mexico when he met the Moyas.
We met Enrique at “El Comedor” at about 11AM, he had just been deported into Nogales, Mexico at 7AM. Enrique shared with us that he spent 11 years in prison for a crime he committed while living in the USA. Having a criminal record was the cause of his deportation into Mexico and the withdrawal of his green card. Enrique didn’t go into detail about the crime he committed but did mention that his actions had consequences and that he was paying for what he did. “Criminals like me, have to deal with the consequences of (the) bad decisions we make. Unfortunately, it’s because of people like me, that a lot of the hard working immigrants, even those who just want to provide for their families, get labeled as criminals”. I could tell that Enrique felt convicted about his current situation and that he saw himself as part of the immigration problem that’s currently affecting many people in our country. Internally, Enrique was dealing with the remorse of why he got deported to this unknown place in the Sonora desert, where he now, somehow, has to find a way to start over.
"One of the takeaways that I want people to think about," Yonathan told Mashable, "is that people who live on the border make an everyday decision to continue living normal lives amongst all of the complex issues that the border faces."