A US school where most students commute from Mexico

Columbus Elementary school in the US state of New Mexico is just like any other – except the majority of its 600 pupils cross an international border every day for class.

In the town of Puerto Palomas, Mexico, Melanie Figueroa wakes up around 07:00 to get ready for school, kisses her mum and sister goodbye, and heads out the door.

Millions of other students in Mexico follow the same routine, with one exception. Among her other school supplies, Figueroa packs her passport – she needs it to make the daily commute to class.

She attends school at Columbus Elementary, located just a few miles north, but across the border in the US state of New Mexico. Figueroa is one of hundreds of children in her town who make this journey every day – an effort that her father hopes will help her have a brighter future.

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