Daniel Rivera
: I had a job in Monterrey, Mexico, and my son was born there. We decided to get him dual citizenship. On the U.S. side it was no problem, but the Mexican side? Wow. I had to fill out a form stating where I was born, but they didn’t have an entry for New Mexico. Every other state in the union was listed, but not NM. They even pulled out some old map they had, with an elongated Texas and Arizona taking up the space where New Mexico would be. They ended up having to write it in, but they still didn’t quite believe me that New Mexico existed.

Nina Valenzuela: I go to New Mexico once a year to get my chile and sopaipilla fix. When I tell people that I am going to New Mexico on vacation, they will start telling me about their trip to Cabo or their cruise to Ensenada. I’m like, What does that have to do with New Mexico?

Olivia Zajac: I recently had someone ask how I got my dog “across the border” after I said I’d adopted her when I was living in New Mexico.

Lorretta Morales: I was applying for a passport at the post office in Berkeley, California, and when I gave them my birth certificate, the woman said, “We can’t accept a foreign one.” I just stared at her with a look on my face that said, “Really?” I was born in Albuquerque.

Susi Voirin: I received a new Walmart credit card in the mail, but when I called to activate it, I was told I needed to call a different number, since I was living in Mexico. It took 20 minutes and a geography lesson to get my card activated.

Glen Colbert: I moved to Ohio for a year, and when I went to the MVD for a driver’s license, they wanted proof I was a U.S. citizen. My Social Security card and New Mexico license weren’t issued in the U.S., according to them, and what I had was temporary green-card status. I thought I was being punked. The lady said, “Old Mexico, New Mexico, it doesn’t matter.” They had to Google it before they believed New Mexico was a part of the United States.

Terry Mims: I was visiting my sister in Jacksonville, Florida, years ago and I went to a nightclub early one evening. I was the only one at the bar, and the bartender asked where I was from. “I’m a New Mexican,” I said. The bartender’s eyes got big and he said, “Well, you don’t look like an old Mexican.” I almost fell off my barstool.

Dan Waring: I had a customer from Oregon come to my farm. I told her what her total was, and she began looking through her purse for change to help cover her bill. She told me that she would be right back. She went over to her vehicle, looked around for a moment, and came back with a 10-peso bill. “You guys still take pesos here, right?” she said. I looked at her and said, ”Sí.” My other customers laughed hysterically. I still have that bill. 

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