It took three years to bring a love letter to El Paso to life in the historical neighborhood of Sunset Heights. Pearl Properties unveiled the mural, Love Letter to Sunset Heights, during the neighborhood’s annual tour of homes last fall. The mural is painted on the side of the Pearl apartment building at 220 Yandell, which overlooks I-10. The Pearl’s owners commissioned Alejandro Lomeli as the artistic director in charge of the painting, but the project didn’t happen overnight. Lomeli, who has lived in three different Pearl buildings – including the one where the mural is now – went off to work as a steelworker in Albuquerque for a while as funding for the project was secured along with permission from the El Paso Historic Landmark Commission.
For cancer patients living in the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metroplex, treatment is not just expensive, costing thousands of dollars for the uninsured, but also difficult to find. Although El Paso has two oncology centers and a few independent oncologists, according to the non profit cancer support group Junt@s Vamos, services such as Pet scans, radiation treatment and chemotherapy are not easily available in neighboring Ciudad Juarez, a border city of almost 1.5 million residents.Launched in 2013 by Juarez resident Cristina Coronado, Junt@s Vamos aims to provide a safe space for people with cancer to talk about their illness and receive emotional support. The group also aims to inform patients of their rights and treatments they can seek elsewhere.There are four core members of the group, but the community involvement extends beyond them. Every fundraiser event consistently draws about 15 volunteers. Aside from the core members, Junt@s Vamos also has eight permanent volunteers.The health information sessions they hold in Ciudad Juarez throughout the year usually draw 200 people suffering from cancer.
After a broadening of horizons tour around Texas, the newest primetime anchor at NewsChannel 9 was ready to come home. Natassia Paloma, 30, is an El Paso native and a UTEP graduate who returned to her hometown to introduce her son Nathan to her biggest inspiration, her grandmother Palmira. “I definitely want him to be raised in the way I was raised. I was raised very humble and raised to be aware of people are going through,” Paloma said. “To really feel with your heart so I want my son to be raised in this culture and I want him to be bilingual and I want to raise him around the people in here.“
Palmira was instrumental in Paloma’s path to become a journalist.