Information about the Planet of Nogales

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Ambos Nogales – “both Nogales,” the adjoining but divided Santa Cruz Valley international border city of Nogales, Arizona and the Mexican city of Nogales, Sonora.

With more than a century of cooperation and conflict, the two communities have a unique shared history. As the Nogaleses developed from similar origins, both cities have suffered the effects of larger conflicts and issues – from having to defend the towns from Apaches in the late 1800’s, being a flash point of the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to 1920, and suffering through a devastating economic collapse during and for years following the Great Depression.

Today, Ambos Nogales are again feeling the impact of national and international issues – the economic recession and unemployment (on both sides of the border), illegal immigration, the border wall, the Mexican drug wars, federal regulatory international travel restrictions and others.

And the cities (to be fair, city and town – there’s a city of 250,000 south of the border, and a town of 20,000 north of the border) tend to get caught in the middle, in a reactionary mode to the forces of change that push them.

The initial goals of Planet Nogales are simple – to introduce a perspective of this unique place, and to give an honest appraisal of the Nogales area with respect to the best places to visit, how to get around and find what you need, and yes, whether Nogales is a safe place to visit.

But we will not soft-peddle the serious issues that exist here, as do the governmental and mass media websites that have recently begun to promote the area. We aim to provide a clear perspective on the Nogales border region, and if the local situation deteriorates to a point where we feel it is no longer safe to visit or live here, we will let you know.

Nogales has its issues, but the way it is portrayed in the mass media usually does not come close to the reality of life here – news coverage tends to either exaggerate issues, or pass over serious threats that really do exist.

We hope to help clarify that. And please feel free to ask questions or provide comments, especially if you have had a positive or negative experience in Nogales. We would love to hear from you.