EL PASO — Residents walking past the Boys Club Park in Segundo Barrio are treated to the sights and sounds of kids playing on the skate-park, handball courts, and basketball courts against a backdrop of painted murals.
Perhaps they will stop and rest on the benches in the abundant shady areas to admire the murals, which depict Segundo Barrio’s culture, history and aspects of life in the area.
The most prominent mural painted brightly on the handball courts called “El Corrido de Segundo Barrio,” shows a mother bathing her child outside their apartments, musicians playing and residents walking along the border.
The Boys Club Park in the Segundo Barrio is one of the city neighborhood parks that can be found full of activity on any given day. Residents in and around the area are drawn to the Boys Club Park for many reasons. The art is something many enjoy, but it’s the parks landscaping that attracts visitors everyday.
“The Park is beautiful and it has grass,” said visitor Rosa Garcia. “We come to this park everyday in the afternoon.”
Rosa and her parents Fidencio and Maria Garcia live so close, they walk to the location.
The family visits the park daily in the summer to leave their hot apartment and take advantage of the shady trees, feed the pigeons and observe the variety of people that visit Boys Club Park.
“I come to take a nap or to give food to the animals and see the beautiful people,” said Fidencio as he tossed more pieces of corn tortillas to the pigeons. Fidencio encourages children to do what he does and step aside from their electronic devices, video games and TV.
“The park gives life and care, a beautiful thing.” Fidencio compared to the overall cleanness of the park to their adult daycare center La Victoria, “It’s very clean here and the trees smell nice just like La Victoria when we enter it smells nice like Clorox.”
The family feels safe coming to the park on a daily basis. Segundo Barrio was once notorious for its violence, but residents say they have seen less crime. Residents, like the Garcia’s, say the South Side neighborhood has become more of a quite and relaxing location.
Fidencio associated Boys Club Park the to one in his hometown of Juarez.
“If I were to go to Ciudad Juarez there is a ton of people. We’d constantly be bumping into each other all the time and it’s always crowded and here (Boys Club Park) it gets late and there is no one and over there (Juarez) it’s much more difficult because people are getting robbed.”
The Garcia’s live comfortably in Segundo Barrio and are grateful to have a park that will help them cool off on a hot summer day. Fidel Garcia said there wasn’t a day where he was not thankful for living in a peaceful place. As for his daughter, Rosa, she enjoys watching the kids riding their skateboards and bikes on a fresh day. Something she says is missing from the park is a water fountain.
Although Boys Club Park is associated with the Boys and Girls club of America in Segundo Barrio it is always open and available to the public.