Yoga health benefits for all ages

By Triniti Faulks

People often find it amazing that at 45 years old, Robin Crociata, a mother
of five, is as fit as a 20-year-old. Several times a week she leads students who
are spread out on purple, blue, and grey mats as they reach for their toes and lift
their chins up to the sky. “I feel that the one thing yoga does do is it gives somebody that inner
strength,” said Crociata, a yoga instructor and owner of Aloha Yoga and
Wellness Studio on the far west side of El Paso. She came to El Paso nine years ago from Hawaii, after graduating with a
psychology degree from Chaminade University in Honolulu, and has been
teaching yoga for five years. ”Make sure you’re going to a teacher that actually is certified,” Crociata

Pay, misinformation about city’s safety makes recruiting doctors to El Paso difficult

By Angelina Steel

El Paso has substantially less than the doctors it needs for a city its size, limiting patient’s choices for specialists and lengthening waiting times for patients as doctors are accepting jobs in higher-paying markets, two medical professionals said. “El Paso has 128 physicians per 100,000 per capita.” said Dr. Luis Urrea, an orthopedic surgeon. “The state level is 184 doctors per 100,000 per capita. That gives you an idea on how far we’re behind. The national is 208.”

The United States is expected to be short 122,000 physicians by 2013, according to a recent study.

Colorful costumes adorn Folklórico performances at Centro La Fe

By Emma Leslie

Vibrant colored skirts glide through the room. Dance music pumps from all corners of the studio. The young dancers of Centro Salud Familiar La Fe chuckle as they buckle their shoes and assemble props in preparation for the cue to walk on stage. El Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe has become the solution for many parents struggling to find programs nearby for their kids to participate in. Girls facing the lack of recreational activities in Segundo Barrio have the opportunity to learn dance at Centro La Fe, through the Ballet Folklórico Toltec La Fe program.

El Paso health center recognized for cultural approach to community wellbeing

By Maria Venegas

Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe is an award-winning, non-profit clinic in the heart of Segundo Barrio, which provides health care services to primarily indigent Hispanic families living near the border. Currently, La Fe has 22 facilities and 11 regional clinics that serve low income community members. Media Relations Administrator Estela Reyes said that the center started out as a small organization and was established in 1967 by a group of parents, mostly mothers and grandmothers that felt their community needed to be changed for their children’s future. “They didn’t want violence and substance abuse, instead they wanted good jobs, education, a future, community infrastructure- a better life for the community they called home,” Reyes said. The first clinic opened on 700 South Ochoa Street located in Segundo Barrio, a neighborhood in downtown El Paso known for its poor living conditions and bad reputation.

Diabetes rampant among Hispanics in El Paso

By Nicole Revilla

Diabetes is on the rise nationally and in El Paso, where healthcare workers and patients are taking on the chronic disease that has been especially devastating for Hispanics. El Paso is ranked No. 1 with the highest number of adults living with diabetes among 100 cities, according to a statistics compiled by personal finance website WalletHub. The flow of patients is constant at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, a health clinic in the heart of El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, a neighborhood where many residents have low incomes and often struggle accessing healthcare. The clinic and health center by the nonprofit organization offers help for those who suffer, especially people who could not afford adequate health care otherwise.

Diabetes and subsequent weight gain make healthy living a daily challenge

By Isabel Garcia

Leticia Rodriguez – a 66-year-old Segundo Barrio resident – has lost vision in her left eye due to diabetes and says she struggles with everyday living because she is obese. Rodriguez has trouble getting into cars, can’t see her feet and her caregiver performs most of her day-to-day tasks for her because she’s suffering from diabetes and obesity. “My diabetes was part of losing my vision and then it went from there to not being able to lose weight,” Rodriguez said. “You go into all these diets and they work for a little bit, but you get it right back.”

Rodriguez has found support at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe. Rodriguez is one of the 300,000 patients who use the services at La Fe.

Photo gallery: The art of Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe

By Ailani Silvas

Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe – headquartered in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio – offers a variety of services to people through its 22 facilities and its 11 clinics. The clinics are a hub of activity as people work together to serve its more than 300,000 patients annually. The Centro, which opened in 1967, offers a variety of wellness programs, including Ballet Folklorio as part of its program to keep mind and spirit healthy, and preserve the neighborhood’s vibrant culture.  

Riding through change

By Laura Montelongo

Throughout the past few years downtown El Paso has experienced many transformations as a community. Many people overlook the fact that even though construction is taking over the area, there is a popular biking movement. Taking a turn down the road of Downtown El Paso, we notice the many beneficial things our city has to offer the community is palpable. In September of 2015, Bcycle started their company with a total of 80 bikes and eight stations to place all 80 bikes. The development of bike usage has increased drastically from June 2015 to June of 2016 receiving one thousand participants, and is constantly increasing today.

Reviving spirit and reviving pride in downtown El Paso

By Danielle Kaiser

The revitalization of downtown El Paso is not confined to just the expansion of businesses and new housing complexes; the unique people who inhabit the area are aiding in the effort as well. The LGBT community in particular is breathing new life into the area and changing the culture just by being who they are. This an impact long in the making. Long before the recent wave of downtown revitalization efforts, El Paso’s LGBT community forged from shuttered commercial space Pride Square, a cluster of bars at Stanton Street and Franklin Avenue that is now a staple Downtown experience for area residents. Spearheaded by LGBT advocates and the people of Sun City Pride and fueled by everyday customers, this area represents a lively and unique part of El Paso’s culture.

Fresco brings new juicing option to downtown

By Charlene Martinez

Several health conscious restaurants are sprouting throughout Downtown El Paso. Located less than a block from San Jacinto Plaza, Fresco offers downtown an all natural and fresh menu. “Our smoothies are 100% natural, a lot of other places do have sugars and they are not natural. Our store is 100% natural and fresh and that’s why most of our customers are interested in it,” owner Rebeca Talamantes said. “It’s a cool place to come to, you can sit and work and spend a couple of hours here.”

Talamantes began juicing at home which lead her to open Fresco in November of last year.

Activist group fights to preserve Barrio Duranguito

By Brittany Medellin

EL PASO – As residents of Barrio Duranguito face losing their homes, some of who have lived there for over 40 years, members of Paso del Sur defense group have taken it upon themselves to fight tooth and nail to give a voice to the elderly who live in this community. Paso del Sur activists say that since the passing of the city’s Quality of Life Bond in 2012, the proposed arena has threatened the Duranguito residents’ way of life, and most recently it has engulfed them in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation by the hands of shady landlords and constant eviction notices. Paso del Sur, a prominent activist group who strive for the preservation of Duranguito, battle to defend its residents and their history from being displaced and their memory demolished. “Before everybody got pushed out (of Duranguito), it was an amazing thing to see,” said Yolanda Leyva, senior member of Paso del Sur group. Situated in the city-ordained arena footprint, Duranguito is riddled with recently abandoned properties and buildings that used to be someone’s home.

Duranguito no se vende, se defiende


Por Brandon Rojas

Una zona que alguna vez fue un lugar próspero, en el que los niños podían jugar de forma libre y segura, ahora se encuentra en peligro de ser demolida. Una residente local, conocida como Antonia “Toñita” Morales, afirma que el municipio planea destruir la comunidad que ella ha visto desarrollarse la mayor parte de su vida.  

Toñita afirma que por años trabajó y luchó por limpiar su comunidad. “Limpiamos todo esto, quitamos la prostitución, quitamos los rateros. Limpiamos porque queríamos que los niños crecieran en un área limpia y segura y que estuvieran a gusto.

History of the First Ward

By: Valerie Alva

EL PASO — El Paso’s first barrio may soon be wiped out by its own city officials. Duranguito, or Union Plaza to its residents, has been selected by city council to be the new home for the proposed multipurpose arena. The history of Duranguito is constantly ignored, according to Paso del Sur activist Cynthia Renteria. “The area has a lot of historical significance and it’s part of a past that isn’t often recognized in the narrative of El Paso,” she also reflects and explains that the story of the city is only vaguely explained up until 1881. “So it’s like the Spanish arrived here.

Modernization making its way to Downtown

By Edith Martinez

Buildings that were once home to broken windows and moldy ceilings now house a culture of free spirits with modern options. The Martin Building is just one of the new choices for downtown living. 

With its iconic “ElectriCity” rooftop sign, tenants enjoy both a mixture of classic and modern urban design. The building is now a part of downtown’s growing living spaces where rents start at $695, and are stylish as described by tenant Luis Piña. 

 “The building was completely vacant before,” Piña said. “It was not as appealing and now simply the location is everything. They are more modern and chic and I feel they are targeted toward young professionals who have careers and enjoy modern downtown living.”

 Buildings are not the only thing undergoing change in downtown.

How Downtown El Pasoans are changing their outlook with every step


By Caitlin Cook

Living near construction can take a toll on one’s quality of life. Residents of downtown El Paso have experienced this first hand- from the laying down of StreetCar Project tracks to the Bassett Tower renovation, getting outdoors in the few quiet places they can has been a refuge from the stress of the city. Elisa Dobler, a Therapist and Outreach Coordinator at the El Paso Child Guidance Center, knows this well. “Anytime there is an increase in loud, disruptive noise, it may cause stress in those who experience it daily,” Dobler said.  “The [World Health Organization] has written on the ‘Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise’ and the detrimental health effects.”

One escape residents have found has been through Downtown El Paso Fitness, also known as DTEPFIT.

Sunset Heights

By Pamela Ortiz

Residents in Sunset Heights take pride of their neighborhood. They work together, live together and even fight together. Every so often, the Sunset Heights Neighborhood Improvement Association meets underneath the Hal Marcus Art Gallery to discuss vital issues that will affect their area.  

On their recent July 12th meeting discussing the new district eight city council representative, resident and blogger, Sito Negron, said that he wanted someone who would preserve Sunset Heights with its historic charm. “The neighborhood has a certain feel and look to it, if they want to remodel they have to go thru a process because of the historical look and character it has to it,” he said.

Roderick Artspace

By Lizbeth Carmona

Walking the halls of the Roderick Artspace lofts, bright colors, quotes from famous authors on seizing the day, and indie music leaking through closed doors can all be experienced before even entering the resident’s lofts. An eclectic variety of people fill the 51 lofts in the new Roderick Artspace apartments in

downtown El Paso, especially people who make around 30% to 60% of the area median income and would like to dedicate themselves fully to their craft. Found on 601 N Oregon Street, Artspace is a location for both artists and local businesses looking to attract artistic commerce and improve the city’s cultural representation. Though not having long since the first residents began to move in, the Artspace is charged with creative energy. The first floor provides space for businesses that are attracted by the area such as the Kalavera Culture shop and El Paso Opera.

Downtown commerce under construction

By Weber Santiago

While road closure signs and bright orange cones have been a headache for downtown El Paso commuters, some business owners see them as a sign of improvement. Despite slow business due to construction, the downtown revitalization effort has maintained its popularity among proprietors. “Everything they’re building, the stadium, the San Jacinto Plaza, the lofts, it all makes downtown more safe,” Healthy Bite owner, Patricia Terrazas De Herrera said. The recent series of constructions in the area has provided hope for Healthy Bite, a self described “colorful daytime cafe with … health-conscious eats & smoothies.” Ft

Healthy Bite hopes that all the change will provide an incentive for more people to visit the area. Currently their customer base are mostly employees who work in the area.

A new era for older businesses

By Jacob Reyes

Downtown El Paso is an area filled with people and businesses that flourish with unique culture and history. One of those businesses is Star Western Wear with its shelves stacked with blue jeans and rows of cowboy hats that line the wall of the massive Downtown store. A store rooted in West-loving customers knows a successful future is embedded in change. Edie Zuvanich, marketing director at Star Western Wear’s downtown location, has seen this shift occur firsthand. “A lot of El Pasoans really didn’t know very much about Downtown and they had a specific mindset about Downtown.

Walls divide, murals unite

By Melanie Martinez

Many murals in El Paso reflect what it’s like to live in a border city and the struggles and pride that come from it. Pops of color have slowly been introduced into Downtown El Paso as artists have made this concrete jungle their canvas. “Art to me is an expression of who you are in the inside. To me, art started as a way to express myself and to build upon the experiences I’ve had through my life,” Leslie Grey said. Grey is an artist known for makeup and her contributions to local street art.

San Jacinto beauty reaches its fame to Instagram

By Aliana Contreras

The newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza has not only received attention from El Pasoans, but also from many talented photographers – both local and worldwide. “I’m a hobbyist. I’ve dropped a lot of money on photography, so I’m pretty obsessed with the whole hobby,” Jay said. Jay, also known as “that1duder” on Instagram, is a photographer from Seattle who traveled to El Paso three years ago to pursue his hobby of photography. “Coming down here, I didn’t know what to expect.

A home for aspiring artists: Downtown El Paso

By Sarah Olberman   

Galleries and museums are embracing local artists like never before, giving them more exposure as the El Paso creative community begins to prosper, artists say. “Before I moved to Los Angeles, the only places I would see local art was like at bars,” said Matthew Martinez, better known by his alias JAM! “That was my first experience with seeing really talented artists in a bar setting. Seeing that, I really wanted to give people an opportunity to have something in a traditional, real, contemporary gallery because I feel like there’s a lacking for that,” Martinez said. Martinez opened his gallery and store, Dream Chasers Club, 200 S. Santa Fe St., in 2015 after living in California and on the East Coast.

Streetcar Project: una molestia ahora, pero un gran beneficio en el futuro

By Alexia Nava

Debido al Proyecto Tranvía – Streetcar Project – varios negocios han sido afectados de diferentes formas. Sin embargo, las expectativas con respecto al futuro del proyecto se siguen manteniendo positivas. Uno de los negocios afectados fue “Briar Patch”, un bar localizado sobre N. Stanton St. “La clientela no llega, no tienen lugar para estacionarse, y pues el dinero y las propinas han bajado,” dijo Francisco Ahumada, mesero en el bar. “Cuando está cerrada la calle, pues, la gente piensa que también estamos cerrados nosotros,” explicó Ahumada.

El Pasoans impacted by Street Car Project construction

By Zenia Lopez

Business owners and shoppers to Downtown for more than a year have had to maneuver through inconveniences regarding construction, road blockage, and reroutes because of the Street Car Project. “This street car project is very irritating,” said William Foxworth, an employee at Hagan Imaging. “It has interfered getting to work by having to adjust my schedule around.”

This street car project began in late-2015 won’t be finished until late 2018, said Carl Jackson, a Sun Metro spokesman. “I used to take the route from my house in Socorro to UTEP in almost 30 minutes by going through the Border Highway and going through Santa Fe,” said UTEP student Aaron Aceves. “Now that same trip takes me nearly 50 minutes on a good day.”

The street car routes consist of two loops.

Downtown hopes riding on streetcar project

By Jazmine Zamora

Streetcar project supporters are expecting a new wave of tourists, shoppers, and reduction in traffic as construction approaches completion. “The benefits excel beyond just downtown,” said Martin Bartlett, a spokesman for the El Paso Streetcar Project. “It really is about picking those destinations and giving residents and visitors another choice to travel between those amenities.”

Back in the 1900’s, El Paso and many other cities used streetcars as a way of transportation to get to where they needed to go. However, in 1974 they stopped running. “The very last line that stopped running was actually an international line and it was – I believe it was – a complaint by Juarez business owners [whom] felt that it was making it too easy for patrons to do business in El Paso,” Bartlett said.