build ramps not walls
Build Ramps Not Walls (BRNW) documents a project that began with a tight knit Mexican and American skate community on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The two main characters, a young American-Mexican skater, Nat and an older Mexican skater, Emilio, are looking for a positive response to the negative rhetoric between Mexico and the United States of America after the U.S.A. 2016 Presidential Elections. With the help of their diverse skate crew, they decided to come together and build a new ramp with the same construction materials that would be used to build the alleged wall between Mexico and the U.S.A. They designed the ramp, fundraised the money and brought together a group of over 40 volunteers from both sides of the border to build. With each day of construction, they saw that by building a ramp together, the community was not just pouring concrete. They were also promoting an ethic of hard work, encouraging youth leadership, sharing positive role models for local kids, and communicating across culture and language barriers with tolerance and the shared passion of skating. By building this ramp together, the community was opening opportunities for youth skaters in the region to improve their skills on better ramps without having to move to the big city or cross the border. They have put the skate community on the map for potential sponsors by documenting the project in a film and gaining attention for the region. Most importantly, they have offered an alternative solution to how to respond to the divisive rhetoric coming down from politicians these days.