The border between the United States and Mexico ranks among the most regulated and secured ones in the world. While it is often the scene of large numbers of fleeing migrants that try to get into the States, the border gets occasionally used for more cheerful uses.
Walleyball is a tradition in the sister towns of Naco — one of them in Arizona (US) and the other in Sonora (Mexico). Every year in April, Naco’s inhabitants on both sides of the border team up to compete against each other in their traditional volleyball match. And guess what? All of a sudden, the border is nothing more than just a net in a friendly game of volleybal.
The annual game of Walleyball is part of what is called the ‘Fiesta Bi-Nacional’, an event that aims to solidify positive transnational relationships between the United States and Mexico. For years, Walleyball has been an essential part of the event, and it has inspired many similar ‘border crossing’ initiatives to blossom, such as the improvised beach volleybal games between San Diego and Tijuana along the oceanside.
The border between the United States and Mexico is often the victim of negative media attention and prejudices among people. But, according to Mexican Naco’s mayor José Lorenzo Villegas, Wallyball represents ‘the celebration of the union of two countries’.