San Elizario’s unique revival gathers local history, gardening and hundreds of artists

SAN ELIZARIO, TX – There’s only one place in El Paso County where a family can see work by hundreds of artists, visit a veteran’s museum, get a homemade empanada at a café, see a live band at a restaurant that’s right next to the jail that once housed Billy the Kid, then walk a few blocks down the street to a community garden. This is the San Elizario Historic district, also known as “San Eli,” home to the only art district in the county, located about 10 miles east of the city limits. “We started this madness out here in 2009 with the Main Street Gallery and things just quickly grew,” said Al Borrego, a self-taught artist who invests most of his time promoting San Elizario and all the artists. “I take pride in my community and I think with the history and talent out here, it’s the perfect place for something like this.”

There are over 100 artists exhibiting their artwork in about 40 galleries, with more venues on the way. The artworks range from traditional acrylic and oil paintings, to iron and woodwork as well as sculptures, stained glass and jewelry.

Firefighters at a fire in Fabens. (Photo by Pink Rivera)

Fire has always fascinated me

EL PASO – When I was younger, my dad would smoke his Marlboro’s outside in the porch and I remember always playing with his lighter. Once I figured out how to turn the wheel fast enough so that sparks came out, I was hooked. One of my most treasured memories is the day I tried on my uncle’s firefighter gear. Even though I was only 11 years old and I knew I could get in trouble, at that moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life. That day I decided I was going to become a firefighter.