(Saray Argumedo/Borderzine.com)

Racism persists as long as we don’t try to understand each other

I was born in Ciudad Juarez Mexico, next door to El Paso, Texas. My family and I moved to El Paso in 1997 for better work opportunities,education, and a better standard of living. I attended U.S. public schools from third grade through high school, and then went on to study at the community college level, first in El Paso and then in Lubbock. When we moved across the border from Mexico to the U.S, I didn’t notice much difference in culture. People still spoke Spanish to me, we continued to celebrate the same holidays, including el Dia de los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo.

Tiguas determined not to lose their culture

Once a year during the outdoor Dia de San Antonio fest on June 13, at the Tigua tribe’s Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, dozens of women and men don colorful costumes, a red sash around their waist, brown moccasins and headbands to celebrate their culture through authentic Native American dance and food. From sunup to sundown, the dancers perform ritual dances outside the Tigua Cultural Center, 305 Yaya Lane. Hundreds of people, both Indian and non-Indian, watch the dancers and taste traditional food like meatballs, chile colorado, sopa de pan or bread soup, and albondigas, meatballs. The traditional celebration is one of several indigenous holidays during the year that the 8,000-plus-member tribe organizes to teach their children Tigua history and culture and keep the old traditions alive. In addition to the most sacred feast of Dia de San Antonio, the tribe also opens up the reservation to the public for: Dia de San Juan, June 24; Dia de San Pedro y Pablo, June 29; Dia de Santa Kateri Tekakwitha, July 14; Dia de Santiago, July 25; Dia De Santa Ana, July 26; and Pueblo Reunion Day, October 12.