Life of activism shines through in Mexican-American artist’s colorful works


Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Arturo Avalos grew up in area of town known as Segundo Barrio, one of the oldest immigrant neighborhoods in the city. As a first generation Mexican American, Avalos said the discrimination he experienced as a child growing up has had a deep impact on his art and life. In elementary school he discovered his passion for drawing and was often scolded by teachers to complete his classwork instead of doodling. At the age of 12 he became a young activist after the mostly Mexican-American workers at Farah, a garment manufacturing company where his sister and neighbors worked, went on strike because of low wages, no medical benefits, work quotas and better working conditions at the company. “I volunteered and did what they needed, handing out flyers, explaining our position,” said Avalos.

Fur festival helps shelter pets find forever homes

EL PASO – “Fur Babies” was the phrase of the day at the second annual Fur Festival in early November, an adoption extravaganza encouraging pet adoption from both the El Paso Animal Services and the Humane Society of El Paso. “It was a great experience. Everyone was really friendly and it’s a home-like environment for the dogs,” said a visitor named Mark who adopted a black labrador retriever mix named Daisy at the festival. At the 2014 festival, 125 pets were adopted in one day from the Humane Society of El Paso and the city shelter combined. This year 98 pets found new homes during the festival, but organizers said adoptions during the week were at a higher rate than usual due to promotion of the event.