The US-Mexico border gets its fair share of attention. The wall. Drug smuggling. And migrant caravans fleeing violence in their home countries. Lost in all that noise are the thousands of Americans crossing the border into Mexico, temporarily fleeing a menace in their own country – the high cost of medical treatment. To access care they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford Americans, for the most part senior citizens, are flocking to places like Nogales, Mexicali and Tijuana.In several Mexican border towns life revolves almost exclusively around the daily influx of Americans for health services. Los Algodones, seven miles west of Yuma, Arizona, has the most dental clinics per square mile in the entire world. That’s nearly 400 dental clinics in a town with a population of under 6,000. And it’s not hard to figure out why so many Americans are streaming across the border each day. About 74 million Americans have no dental coverage (and much of that coverage doesn’t cover very much), and in Mexico they can save up to 70 percent compared to costs in the US.I spent 36 hours in Los Algodones photographing and interviewing people who crossed the border for dental care and I am planning to go back and visit other border towns in Baja California to keep documenting this issue.
Also by Martina Albertazzi —