No matter how you feel about immigration, Mexico is not going anywhere and neither is the US. The border between the US and Mexico is the busiest land border in the world, with the border being more than 1900 miles long! There are fences and signs along the way to prevent people from crossing over illegally, but with an expanse that long it’s hard to do. There is a lot of anger geared toward the US borders, but I recently found out that there is a movement to ease the tension between our borders. Rather than being angry, residents from both countries have decided to embrace the fence separating us. They’ve invented a game called Wallyball. It’s now an annual tradition in the two towns of Naco, Arizona which is in the US and Naco, Sonora which is on the Mexico side. Every April, teams from both countries gather on each side of the fence to participate in what has been called a, “Fast paced version of volleyball,” according to Rafa Fernandez De Castro.
They’ve dubbed the annual tradition “Fiesta Bi-Nacional” and the purpose behind it is to help solidify a positive transnational relationship between both the US and Mexico.
Wallyball was introduced in 1979 to the border and since then it’s been played in various cities along the 1900+ mile plus border.
There have even been impromptu games that have come up with one team playing near San Diego, California while the other team plays near Tijuana, Mexico.
Mayor of Naco, Sonora, Jose Lorenzo Villegas, said, “For us, it represents the celebration of the union of two countries. What’s unusual is that both the Mexican and US teams are playing at home, with the fence as the net.”
Because of the height of the fence and it’s constructed, players have to launch the ball much higher than you would on a normal volleyball court.
Check out the video below of the two countries playing wallyball against each other, but both playing on their own turf.
There have been quite a few soccer games that have been played using the fence as well. There is also a team on each side, with onlookers using large ladders and other tall objects so they can watch both sides of the game. It’s interesting how these two towns, along with others, can get along just fine, yet there is so much anger surrounding the US’s southern neighbors.