In San Elizario, Texas, residential growth competes with cotton farming for land

Many Borderlanders may not realize that El Paso County’s Lower Valley is one of the nation’s largest cotton producers. But the valley’s historical farming communities like San Elizario, Texas, face a struggle to continue working the land. “Cotton farming in San Elizario can be traced back to the early 19th century in the El Paso Lower Valley,” says Orlando Flores, of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Services. “Originally the county produced grapes, the Mission Grapes, but died off due to a fungus. After that, cotton was introduced into the valley.”

Borderland fishing club reels more desert dwellers into the sport

El Paso’s desert climate is not stopping anglers from finding a local fishing hole in the borderland thanks to the El Paso Texas Fish & Game fishing club. “El Paso is not known for fishing, but there are lots of spots where you can go cast a line and catch some fish,” said El Paso Texas Fish & Game founder Pete Chavez. What started off as a simple Facebook group for locals interested in fishing, has turned into one of El Paso’s most well-known fishing organizations. El Paso Texas Fish & Game brings together men and women, anglers, not only to enjoy fishing in canals, rivers, and lakes around the borderland, but to also give back to the community. “We are in a desert, but there are a lot of us out here who love fishing and the acknowledgement for what we do makes us love what do even more,” Chavez said.