El Paso’s Mission Trail sees surge of growth and economic development 

El Paso’s historic Mission Trail may be quiet on a Monday, but as the weekend approaches, traffic and visitors begin to stream into the small communities of San Elizario, Socorro and Ysleta. The trail is a 9-mile stretch of the Camino Real, the Spanish Royal Road built in 1598. Shops, museums and businesses once again teem with visitors along  this section of the oldest European trade route in North America, which is once again seeing a resurgence in economic development.

Tribune en español, an alternative after Hoy’s shut down in Chicago

By Hallie Newnam, Special to Borderzine.com

CHICAGO – After 16 years, Hoy—the Spanish-language newspaper of the Tribune Publishing Company—has shut down. In mid-November, the Tribune announced that on Dec. 13, 2019 both Hoy’s print and online operations would end. However, the Tribune was reportedly “aggressively exploring other options” for its Hispanic audience. Many loyal followers of the publication were frustrated and confused about the newspaper’s abrupt end.

The gradual rebirth of Downtown El Paso’s historic buildings

When people think of history in El Paso, Texas, they’re likely to dwell on the city’s unique relationship with Juarez, and rightly so. But it’s hard for folks to miss the real historical monuments sprinkled around this border town, even if they aren’t aware of them. They just have to look up. Henry Charles Trost died in 1933 but his legacy still proudly stands in the form of some of the 73 buildings he and his brothers designed in the borderland, dating back to 1903. Structures by Trost and Trost have housed the fabric of the community, including groceries, hotels, schools, houses of worship, department stores and more.

Borderland support builds for tech startups

El Paso – once known for its thriving garment industry which eventually crashed because of globalization – is on its way to becoming a smaller version of Silicon Valley, if some tech enthusiasts have their way. Tech accelerators and incubators – businesses that offer El Paso’s 20-plus start-ups a place to work, meet and sometimes funding – are being built to help new firms on their way to becoming the next high-tech success story. One area where the incubators – led by highly educated chief executives, some with doctoral degrees from prestigious universities and a wealth of experience garnered elsewhere – is helping entrepreneurs is in the medical field. Julio Rincon, principal owner of MipTek, based out of the facilities at the MCA Innovation Center, is a biomedical engineer and is working on finding remedies to medical maladies, taking science to the market place. “We find applications by making sure someone wants to buy this,” Rincon said.

Central El Paso’s Manhattan Heights and Five Points neighborhood revitalization fuels new vibe

Over the last five years, the Manhattan Heights neighborhood and Five Points business district have seen an influx of new businesses and young professionals, creating a new vibe in this historic Central El Paso area. Susie Byrd,a longtime Manhattan Heights resident and former District 2 City Council Representative, has lived in this historic area since she was in second grade. “These two city blocks were boarded up,” she reflected of the Five Points business district. “Maybe there was like a couple of salons. Not this kind of energy around the core of Five Points development.”

All that is changing as new businesses, such as bars, grills, a yoga studio and now an Ace Hardware Store, are opening in the area.

On the wake of Pancho Villa’s 140th birthday, three women wage a battle against gentrification in El Paso’s oldest neighborhood

In September of last year, Romelia Mendoza, one of the two remaining residents on Chihuahua Street, woke up to the sound of demolition crews tearing down the historic buildings next to her home in El Paso’s downtown. “For a second I thought it was an earthquake,” said Mendoza. Antonia “Toñita” Morales, 90, has lived in the neighborhood since 1965. She said she did not hear the bulldozers because she is hard of hearing, but finally awoke to the sound of Mendoza crying hysterically and banging on her door. The two panicked women rushed to try to stop the work, which had begun despite a court order prohibiting the teardown.

El Paso voter turnout small, but strongly behind sending Veronica Escobar to Congress

Former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar won a landslide victory in the March 6 Democratic primary for Texas’ 16thCongressional District. Escobar took more than 61 percent of the vote in a six-person race. Second-place finisher Dori Fenenbock, the former El Paso Independent School District board president, had 22 percent of the vote. “Words cannot describe how humbled and grateful I am. I am privileged to be your Democratic nominee, privileged to be your candidate,” Escobar wrote to supporters the day after the election.

Graphic design exhibit ‘No Literal’ in Chicago questions the incorrect use of the Spanish language

By Rocío Villaseñor 

Spanish has become the second most used language in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center report from September 2017, “the Latino population in the United States has reached nearly 58 million in 2016″ and more than 37 million speak Spanish. However, not all Spanish speakers speak or write it correctly, and the media have not helped to improve this situation because most of them do not respect the accent marks, and many do not use the tilde on the eñe letter. En español: La muestra gráfica “No Literal” en el Instituto Cervantes de Chicago cuestiona el incorrecto uso del idioma español

The graphic exhibit ‘No Literal’ by Peruvian journalist and designer Elio Leturia tries to illustrate the situation through 12 posters. These compositions portray different cases, including incorrect translation from English into Spanish.

La muestra gráfica “No Literal” en el Instituto Cervantes de Chicago cuestiona el incorrecto uso del idioma español

Por Rocío Villaseñor

El lenguaje español se ha convertido en el segundo idioma más usado en los Estados Unidos. De acuerdo a un reporte del Centro de Investigación Pew de setiembre del 2017, “la población latina ha casi llegado a 58 millones en 2016” en los Estados Unidos y más de 37 millones hablan español. Sin embargo, no todos los hispanoparlantes lo hablan o lo escriben correctamente, y los medios de comunicación no han ayudado a mejorar esta situación pues no respetan los acentos, y muchos no utilizan la tilde sobre las eñes. La exposición grafica ‘No Literal’ del periodista y diseñador peruano Elio Leturia trata de ejemplificar la situación a través de 12 afiches. Esta variedad de composiciones artísticas muestran diferentes casos, entre ellos, de traducción incorrecta de inglés al español. Un ejemplo es ‘María está embarazada’, al tratar de traducir “María is embarrassed” cuando lo que debería decir correctamente es ‘María está avergonzada’. 

Otro error común por los medios es ignorar agregar la ~ sobre la n. El idioma español tiene 27 letras, mientras el inglés 26.

Light Projection – A new virtual experience in Roman museums, sites

By Rachel Gonzalez

Rome is a cultural mecca with museums and sites at every turn. Tourists and scholars have flocked there for many years learning from its history and trying to decipher the clues left behind that tell the story of the past. Today light projection act as a visual aid for visitors by creating a kind of virtual window into the past. It may seem that places like the Forum of Augustus and especially the Colosseum are in no need of modern technology to get people interested, but these technologies are not to bring people through the door, they are there to enhance the experience of those who visit and give them a bright new angle of view. Three Roman locations in which light projection has made a debut are the Roman House (le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini), the Forum of Augustus and the Colosseum.

The Pantheon – An illuminating experience  

By Matthew P. Gonzales

The Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain persuade many to visit Rome. Personally, these were not sites I was very interested in seeing. I was part of the Layers of Rome study abroad course visiting Rome, Italy.  On a bright sunny day, our class went out to look at a monument that is one of the last remaining buildings from the Roman Empire dating back to the 2nd century, the Pantheon. The word Pantheon means a temple dedicated to all the gods.

Italy and my encounter with the issues of bilingualism

By Crystal Calderon

Growing up in a bilingual environment meant I was fortunate to have the opportunity  to learn at least two languages. I grew up in the border city of El Paso TX., right next to Juarez Chihuahua MX. I was fortunate enough to grow up bilingual. Unlike most US citizens who are monolingual, my background enabled me to feel more  natural when in Rome. This past summer I traveled to Italy as part of the Layers of Rome study abroad course hosted by the  Humanities Program of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Educator shares 5 tips for supporting immigrant and refugee students

By Katrina Landa, Ed.D.

In 2016, the United States welcomed 96,874 refugees, including 15,479 from Syria alone, according to the US Department of State’s Refugee Processing Center. Nearly 60 percent of those refugees were children.  As these families settle into the country and children enroll in local schools, teachers face the unique challenge of ensuring refugee students feel welcomed, while also meeting their educational needs. 
As the ESL and bilingual coordinator at American College of Education (ACE), I frequently share my experience in working with refugee, immigrant and foreign language-speaking students and offer teachers these top five tips below. 
1. Establish a safe space in your classroom. You must be vigilant and stop any bullying immediately.

Sanctuary is in the fabric of El Paso, not the label

By John M. Gonzales and Alex Hinojosa
There are 118 so-called “sanctuary cities in the United States, but applying the term to El Paso is like calling Texas a little bit country. With one in four city residents living a bi-national life to manage and work in Mexican factories across the border, traffic snakes bumper-to-bumper every day through checkpoints from neighboring Ciudad Juarez. Twenty-five percent of residents are immigrants — with an estimated 3 percent of the state’s unauthorized immigrants Texas-wide residing in El Paso County. Yet, like other jurisdictions that inherited the sanctuary city tag originally used by immigration control groups to create an image of blanket refuge, El Paso is being told to uphold a law that strikes to the core of its identity. “We’re allowing D.C., and sometimes Austin, to dictate what border policy should be,” said David Saucedo, a mayoral candidate who is pitted against the more politically experienced Dee Margo in a June 10 runoff.

Border Patrol ride along gets real when migrant family appears

by Jennifer Thomas

On paper it sounded like the perfect assignment:  spend a day along the U.S. Mexican border with members of the El Paso sector of the U.S. Border Patrol as part of the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Journalism Training Academy at UT El Paso.  Off we went – cameras, notepads and audio equipment in hand.  It was hot. 100 degrees. Most of us, have in the least read about, if not reported in some way, the border between the two countries, and the migrants who try to cross illegally into the U.S.  What we were not prepared for, was to see an apprehension first hand. 

U.S. Border Patrol agent Oscar Cervantes and Joe Reyes served as our guides. Cervantes has been a border agent for more than eight years.  Reyes – more than fourteen.  

We visited a portion of the 16-foot steel, eight-mile-long fencing that separates Colonia Anapra in Mexico and the village of Sunland Park, New Mexico.  The structure has been in place since 2007. “It only takes seconds or minutes to blend into the community,” Cervantes explained.   

The El Paso Sector encompasses all of the state of New Mexico and the western tip of Texas, and is one of nine sectors along the Southwest Border of the country.  There are 19,000 agents covering more than 250 miles of international border.  The section of the border is covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but Cervantes insists the fence is not meant anyone out.

College grad in limbo after ICE roundup reveals secret, splits family

By Sylvia Ulloa

Jeff Taborda lives in a faded green trailer in an old but neatly kept motor home community in north Las Cruces. Taborda,23, graduated in December from New Mexico State University with a degree in criminal justice, with ambitions to go into law enforcement and eventually join the FBI. He is lean and muscular, working out regularly with his younger brother, Steven. The home Taborda shares with his girlfriend is sparsely furnished, clean dishes in a rack in the sink. “As soon as I eat, I do the dishes,” he told visitors on a recent hot afternoon.

Security, trade, family bind both sides of border

By Pam Frederick

From the roof of the commercial customs lanes at the US-Mexico border in El Paso, TX, a line of trucks four lanes wide stretches beyond sight into the Mexican city of Juárez. A similar line of cars inch along, idling for hours, towards the Bridge of the Americas, one of 10 border crossings in the region. The view makes one point perfectly clear: free trade between the US and Mexico is not ending anytime soon. And no one around these parts knows that better than local business owners. “We build everything together,” says Miriam Kotkowski, the owner of Omega Trucking located just three miles from the border crossing at Santa Teresa, N.M. Her father started his business in New Mexico 50 years ago, crossing cattle.

Entre libros y pañales: se necesitan guarderías para madres y padres universitarios de Ciudad Juárez

Por Ana Carolina Valero Cortez, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez

Amamantar a un hijo, para muchas es la mayor expresión de amor que una madre pueda profesar a su hijo, arrullarlo y calmar su llanto al mismo tiempo que el pequeño sacia su hambre es un derecho que prohibirlo sería lacerante para ambas partes, sin embargo, para Ixchel Villarreal, una joven madre universitaria ese derecho se vio violentado, pues la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) no es una institución incluyente con los hijos de sus estudiantes. A través de un video publicado en las redes sociales, Villareal hizo público su reclamo, la activista local y egresada de la carrera de Psicología denunció un supuesto acto de discriminación dentro del Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Administración (ICSA) por amamantar a su bebé en uno de los edificios. Después de que Villareal pidiera informes para poder ingresar a la maestría, Melquíades, de 10 meses, empezó a inquietarse, el calor sofocante de la ciudad y el hambre provocó en el pequeño malestar; un sofá dentro de un edificio con aire acondicionado parecía el lugar perfecto para amamantarlo y calmar su desosiego. Unos quejidos bastaron para que dos catedráticas de la universidad abandonaran sus cubículos para interrumpir la lactancia, argumentando que una institución educativa no es lugar para tener a un niño, que era un distractor molesto para los estudiantes y que además, no era el “espacio” correcto para amamantarlo. El video de denuncia tuvo tanto impacto que rápidamente empezaron a ventilarse acontecimientos de intolerancia tanto de maestros como de alumnos hacia las madres que por necesidad o gusto asistían con sus hijos a clases, de igual forma, surgieron comentarios reprobatorios apoyando la postura de las docentes.

Juarez has become a limbo for Central American migrants who decided to delay plans to cross into U.S

By Veronica Martinez

For years Casa del Migrante, a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, has been a haven and a crossing point for immigrants coming from the south, but the uncertainty of new immigration policies under the Trump presidency is convincing some of them to remain at the border indefinitely. In 2015  the shelter received 5,600 immigrants. Last year the number increased to more than 9,000, officials said. Ana Lizeth Bonilla, 28, sways back a stroller back and forth watching her two year-old son, Jose Luis, as he sleeps. “Now, we’re just waiting for her,” the pregnant woman says as her arm rests on her baby bump.

El Pasoan who spent more than 40 years buying art considers how to leave it for others to enjoy

With altruism as the main drive behind his art collection, UTEP librarian Juan Sandoval has amassed over 1,000 works of art that he keeps in his modest Sunset Heights apartment. “I always had poor friends growing up, so I would help them out by buying their art,” said Sandoval. The first time he bought a piece was in 1975 to encourage a friend. “In college, I used to buy original works of art for $25,” he joked. The works Sandoval has acquired throughout the years range from simple Native American tapestry to intricate and abstract lithographs made by prominent artists such as Luis Jimenez, Francisco Toledo and Marta Arat.

New border organization seeks to inspire community involvement in response to White House anti-immigrant sentiment

By Veronica Martinez

Boundless Across Borders, a non-partisan coalition of community leaders across the Rio Grande, met for the first time with the intent of improving civic involvement among it members and El Paso residents. The event, called “Hear Our Voice,” met early February at the Armijo Branch Public Library, with representatives from the UTEP Black Student Union, El Paso del Sur and Centro sin Fronteras. “We’re trying to activate people who have not been active before; to come to the table and say ‘Sorry I haven’t been around before. What can I do?,’ ” said Xochitl Nicholson, a member of Boundless Across Borders and an organizer of the event. Community leaders discussed city needs with the 100 plus attendees.

Women, young voters drive record early voting in El Paso

Editor’s note: This article by Bob Moore was originally published in the El Paso Times Nov. 5. It is reprinted here with permission of the El Paso Times. Women and younger voters who did not vote in 2012 fueled El Paso’s record-shattering early voting turnout. An El Paso Times analysis of county election records shows that the number of voters under age 30 doubled from 2012, to almost 20,000.

Ciudad Juárez: ¿una caída del crimen o un simple espejismo?

Por Damià S. Bonmatí, Univision Noticias

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, México. Hay tantas cosas que a Olga Esparza le recuerdan a su hija Mónica. Las jovencitas que viajan en el autobús, las que andan deprisa por la calle, las que llevan hijos pequeños de la mano. Mónica Janeth Alanís desapareció en marzo de 2009, cuando salía de sus clases de Administración de Empresa en la universidad, y sus restos fueron hallados en 2012, en las afueras de Ciudad Juárez. Tenía 18 años.

A newly arrived Cuban migrant fills out paperwork in El Paso.

El Paso social services respond to Cuban refugee surge

Cuban refugees continue to seek asylum in the U.S., traveling from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso for a third straight week, with many staying in El Paso longer than expected, which could strain local organizations that traditionally provide services such as food, shelter and legal advice to immigrants. Elizabeth O’Hara, communications director of Catholic Diocese of El Paso, said about 300 Cuban migrants have been arriving each day since May 9 for a total of about 3,000 in the last three weeks. “Some of them will stay 24-36 hours, but now we’re seeing some of them staying longer,” O’Hara said, adding that the first wave of refugees seemed to be better off financially. “Most of the first ones to arrive had money left so they could bounce out of El Paso faster.”

That seems to be the case as well at the Ysleta Lutheran Mission, which is housing up to 80 refugees at a time. Karla Gonzalez, Ysleta’s chief operating officer, said most immigrants will just pass through El Paso on the way to family or friends in other parts of the country.

Downtown El Paso set to ride streetcar revival

Beginning in 2018, El Paso residents will be riding the rails again. Streetcars, once a staple in El Paso, will return. A $97 million grant from the Texas Transportation Commission and $4.5 million from the City of El Paso is funding the 4.8-mile route. The revamped streetcar system is an example of art becoming reality. A graduate thesis by City Council Representative, Peter Svarzbein, was the impetus for the project.

El Paso becoming new frontier for space research, business ventures

Our lives are full of consumer products that can be traced back to NASA: invisible braces, infrared ear thermometers, memory foam and cordless drills. Now one El Paso-area organization has partnered with NASA to make this kind of technology transfer easier. The Space Race challenge offers business planning, networking, mentorship and support to teams who are competing for up to $1.2 million in funding from venture capital investors. The Center for Advancing Innovation, a global public-private nonprofit is facilitating the program with El Paso-based Medical Center of the Americas Foundation. “NASA has a very large number of researchers who are primarily dedicated to solving NASA’s problems, but once that technology has done its job for NASA, by and large, that’s the end of the road, said Jeff Fuchsberg, the director of intellectual property and innovation projects at the center.

Latino entrepreneurs make their mark through microbrewing

El Paso, TX – Carlos Guzmán opened his first bar while he was stationed in Iraq. Well, it was sort of a bar. And it sort of just happened. Guzmán was having a hard time buying liquor in Iraq, so he asked his friends and family to stash some little bottles in their care packages. “Little did I know that within a month we’d have over 50 bottles,” said Guzmán who was in the U.S. Army.