avocados in store

How to bring avocados across the border legally for the big game and other special occasions

EL PASO – Avocados are not cheap in the United States. Holidays and celebrations increase the demand for this versatile fruit, especially in the Borderland. Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S. is one of the highest days for avocado consumption, and in the border many holidays and celebrations consist of avocado in many forms.

But around here there’s an easy way to pay less for avocados. Ciudad Juárez, across the border in Mexico. I have been bringing avocados from across the border for a few years now on my own following what my mom has been doing for decades.

El Paso y Ciudad Juárez ofrece comida vegana y vegetariana a los fronterizos

En la frontera de Ciudad Juárez y El Paso, se ha visto un crecimiento del veganismo y vegetarianismo y se ve reflejado en la variedad de productos a base de plantas que se encuentran en diferentes tiendas y supermercados. Pero también se ve en la variedad de restaurantes que incluyen este tipo de comida.El Paso cuenta con alrededor de 10 restaurantes completamente veganas y más de 30 restaurantes que incluyen opciones veganas o vegetarianas en sus menús, así lo muestra una página web “Happy Cow.”“Cuando nosotros iniciamos, la gente no sabía realmente mucho pero ya había un grupo de personas, una comunidad,” dijo Jacqueline Cordova, dueña de The Green Ingredient. Fue uno de los primeros restaurantes 100% veganas establecidos en El Paso en el año 2013. Cerró sus puertas en el año 2018, pero ella y su esposo Ulises Cordova continuaron vendiendo productos a base de plantas.Cordova, la dueña de este lugar, cuenta según su experiencia después de más de ocho años, como ha visto el crecimiento del veganismo en la frontera desde que abrieron sus puertas por primera vez, hasta el día de hoy.”Ya muchos restaurantes han introducido lo que es tener opciones para las personas que no comen producto animal y cuando decimos producto animal, decimos, no lácteo, no huevo, porque muchas personas no saben la diferencia,” Cordova dijo. Aun con el cierre del restaurante, Cordova y su esposo continuaron con el negocio como proveedores de productos como quesos libre de lácteo y maltrato animal pero con el mismo propósito de que se siga incrementando este estilo de vida “plant-based.”“Nuestros quesos son quesos cultivados, y cuando decimos cultivados es el mismo proceso para hacer el queso que se hace con leche, nada mas lo hacemos sin leche con nueces o semillas,” explicó.

The newcomers guide to a borderland Christmas

Holidays around the country are celebrated with unique traditions, special to their region. And the holidays in the borderland also have their own festive recipe. Sharing a border with Mexico, El Paso is a melting pot of cultura with a dash of America and a dash of Mexico.In a city where the population is predominantly Mexican-American, the spices of two different cultures make the borderland holidays a celebration like no other. If you are new to El Paso, here’s all you need to know to celebrate borderland style. The Holiday prep

The festivities of the holiday season kick off early in the borderland.

Fans returning to El Paso concerts with some pandemic precautions

The pandemic shut down the concert scene in the borderland last year, but now fans are eager to see their favorite performers back on the stage. “I traveled all the way from St. Louis, Missouri, 16-hour drive, left at 4 o’clock yesterday, just to be here,” said Jovan Tucker. She drove from St. Louis to see rapper Kevin Gates in September at the El Paso County Coliseum.

Restaurants in Ciudad Juarez every foodie should know

Ciudad Juárez has long been a destination for people from El Paso to visit family members or a place for fun-seekers to travel without going too far. During my visits from over the last couple years I’ve noticed that the city has also turned into a serious eating destination. From tacos and enchiladas to duck breast with a side of couscous, the city’s culinary options are diverse. Although it would take me many visits to get to know all of the restaurants and street stands in the city, here is a list of some of my favorite spots I’ve discovered in my visits. Catalina Bakery & Bistro

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Former Borderzine editor David Smith-Soto’s novel wins International Latino Book Award

Borderland writer David Smith-Soto’s novel Havana Hallelujah was named the first place winner in Adventure/Drama category in the 2021 International Latino Book Awards this weekend. Smith-Soto was a professor of multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso from 2004 until his retirement in 2016. He served as editor for Borderzine.com. The International Latino Book Awards is the largest Latino literary recognition program in the U.S.  Presenters for the online awards ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 17 included luminaries like Isabel Allende and Edward James Olmos.

Juarez nightlife trying to adapt to changing pandemic conditions

The COVID-19 pandemic affected a wide range of businesses during the past year, especially nightclubs in Ciudad Juárez but some businesses found ways to reopen and adapt. Now, they’re faced with a new health order limiting hours and capacity and forcing some to close their doors once again as cases and hospitalizations spike. Nightclubs and restaurants have looked for ways to stay in business. “We had to turn everything into e-commerce we tried to sell remotely and reach the customer ourselves, said Pepe Hernandez, a founder of “Punto Unión,” an upscale property with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The months when businesses were forced to close under a health mandate to slow the spread of COVID-19 were difficult.

“The entertainment business ended, so we did it through other brands; we launched a sushi brand, mixology courses, food, and some businesses we turned completely into something new, ” Hernandez said.

Artists reflect Segundo Barrio pride in south El Paso mural

EL PASO — Three artists who grew up in the Segundo Barrio collaborated to create the mural “Quinto Sol- The Rebirth,” in south El Paso. Francisco Delgado, Francisco Camacho, and Bobby Lerma united to paint the mural to inspire children from the neighborhood with memorable artwork. “I believe that it was destined to be on that wall. Everything felt in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, with people who have a good heart, with people that care about the community, and with people who have a strong incomparable love to the neighborhood,” Lerma said. Delgado calls himself a “bordeño,” an artist whose artwork is a mashup of being a Chicano and a “fronterizo.”

Lockdown was a drag; An interview with Borderland queen Rumor

El Paso — Bar shutdowns, curfews and stay home orders to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the borderland affected the way many El Pasoans worked. That includes performers such as drag queens who had steady gigs prior to the pandemic, but lost income when they could no longer perform in person.”It’s affected me in a way where I do not have that extra income anymore,” said Alexander Wright, who performs in bars and nightclubs as “Rumor.” She, like many drag queens, performs as a second job rather than as a primary source of income. “Fortunately, I do have a full-time job so I do not rely on drag to go ahead and pay for my stuff, per se.” Wright works as a customer service representative for a staffing agency during the day and does drag as Rumor as a side venture.

La nueva convivencia de ‘gamers’ a través de las redes sociales durante la pandemia

CIUDAD JUAREZ — Las redes sociales se han vuelto más transitadas tanto para buscar información como para convivir debido a la cuarentena puesta por la pandemia del COVID-19, donde se recomienda distanciamiento social.

Como medio de información, las redes sociales han servido para mantener a gente de diferentes partes del país al tanto de la situación de cuarentena de los demás y además han ayudado muchos convivir y encontrar diversión mientras se encuentran aislados.

The gaming goes on as young El Paso esports team adjusts amid pandemic

Referring to itself as El Paso’s flagship Esports team, the El Paso HoneyBadgers organization was just beginning to build its membership. Then the coronavirus pandemic forced the group of gamers to shift to meeting online only. “The social aspect of the HoneyBadgers is kind of harder for us. We, our teams love to practice and they love to be around each other,” said team president Caroline Salas. The El Paso HoneyBadgers is an electronic sports team based at the GAIA Makerspace at UTEP that sometimes competes through playing multiplayer video games against other teams in competitive matches.

What makes pozole so irresistible?

EL PASO — As chilly weather sets in and fall finally arrives in the borderland, so does the beloved tradition of making pozole. https://youtu.be/gx1y6wnZmkc

Elva “Raquel” Salas, 60, sells the slow-cooked red chile and hominy stew from home on weekends to earn extra money. The mother of three and grandmother of eight works full-time at a power plant, but on Sundays she sells her homemade pozole to friends, family and others who don’t have time to make their own. Salas uses a recipe from her grandmother’s kitchen. She says it’s all about the seasoning.

Canceled church bazaar season disappoints gordita fans, disrupts vital parish fundraising in El Paso

Normally around this time of year, the church kermes or bazaar season would just be wrapping up in El Paso. Every year, many Catholic churches hold huge, weekend-long fundraisers. They are a tradition in the borderland – large, carnival-like gatherings complete with live music, family games like loteria, and some of the best Mexican food you can find. Think gorditas and elotes. Churches usually do most of their fundraising for the year at these bazaars.

A symbol of perseverance in El Paso, Café Mayapán struggles during the pandemic

Since its opening in 2001, Café Mayapán is known for more than it’s traditional take on authentic Mexican food. It also serves as a center for celebrating Mexican heritage, building community and supporting economic development for working class women. But now it’s struggling to survive, due to the pandemic. “I think it would be a shame if Café Mayapán ends up closing up, because it would be a loss not only for these women, but also for the community” said Aimée Carrillo, a longtime customer. The cafe at 2000 Texas is one of three enterprises run by La Mujer Obrera, an organization dedicated to helping marginalized women.

5 books featuring La Frontera to read during the pandemic

One thing that the coronavirus pandemic has allowed me to do is read. I’ve been able to connect with many stories, characters and settings through the turning of pages. But no matter how connected I can feel to any story, it is deeper with those that feature my homeland on the U.S., Mexico border.What all these books have in common is an understanding of what it is to be somewhere in between two countries – sometimes lost, sometimes more aware than ever. From an odyssey to an identity crisis, from an individual struggle to political battles, these books situate us in the middle of La Frontera and help us understand our history while informing our present.In times of COVID-19, what better way to pass our days than getting to know ourselves and our heritage?1. The Line Becomes a River by Francisco CantúThis book is a memoir from a third generation Mexican-American who is a former Border Patrol agent from Arizona.

Some ways El Pasoans are keeping each others’ spirits up during coronavirus distancing

When El Paso was placed under stay-at-home orders in March, many residents may have felt overwhelmed. But there are signs that the community is trying to stay positive during this pandemic. Here’s a sample of some of what is being shared on social media. Neighborhood notes

To help fight loneliness during while everyone is stuck at home, some residents are doing little things to help keep people’s hopes up. Twitter user @Jara_Films hung piñatas on the West Side that carry messages encouraging anyone walking or driving by to stay strong.

Retirees cultivate Jardin de Milagros to get fresh, healthy vegetables to El Paso food pantries

When Jerry Hobson retired in 2010, he and his wife, Susan, got to work on a plan to turn some old family farmland into a garden of fresh produce for people in need. “We were here with land, water, time, and some nickels and dimes and it was like someone was saying: ‘You kind of have it pretty good, maybe it’s time to share that and give back,’ ” said Jerry Hobson, 74, who retired after a career as a chemical engineer with El Paso’s Chevron Refinery and El Paso Natural Gas. The farm, located south of La Union, NM, near Canutillo, Texas, has been part of his family for a hundred years. Over time it was divided among Hobson’s family members. The three acres that belong to Jerry and Susan Hobson is now known as Jardin de Milagros and provides truckloads of fresh vegetables to area food pantries.

Desert drivers come to their own rescue in El Paso’s off-road community

The sounds of off-road vehicles grinding through the desert in east El Paso County are mostly just a memory now. The sprawling dunes area known as Red Sands is closed and Sheriff’s patrols are turning off-road enthusiasts away to limit the potential for public contact over coronavirus concerns. But, before the closure, the sounds of 4x4s filled Red Sands day and night as groups of vehicles roamed the rugged terrain, climbing over dunes and sometimes getting stuck in the soft sands. That’s when the Texas Rescue Patrol might come to the rescue. The Texas Rescue Patrol is a group of volunteers who are part of the off-roading community who respond to calls for help and try to do whatever they can for stranded vehicles or accident cases, especially in the hard-to-reach areas of the desert.

Book Review: Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall, by Daniel Chacón

 

By Lucrecia Guerrero

Kafka in a Skirt, Daniel Chacon’s most recent collection of short stories, opens with a bang that lights up a corner of the existential darkness, but only enough to make us wonder if indeed there is nothing, nada. “In the Closet,” one of the numerous flash fiction pieces in the book, gives us an adolescent protagonist who has been ordered by his mother to clean that “chingadera” out of his closet. He tells the reader that even though he got down on his knees to search his closet, he “didn’t know what [he] was looking for, but [he] somehow knew [he] would spend the rest of [his] life looking for it.”

I read somewhere that it’s often said that readers read to gain insight into others but that, in fact, readers read to gain insight into themselves. I suspect there is considerable truth to that. Have not many readers, at some time in their lives, feared that they will spend, or have already spent, most of their lives looking for an elusive and indefinable something?

Kiki’s – How a little neighborhood restaurant grew to be a community tradition

El Paso is a city packed with mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants – humble spots tucked in amid neighborhood shops that many non-locals might not even notice as they drive by. Places, like Kiki’s at 2719 N. Piedras. It is off the beaten path, but after more than 40 years, this Central El Paso eatery has grown into a local institution that attracts fans from across the city. Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar was established by Paula Yardeni in 1976. The name Kiki’s comes from Yardeni’s daughter who was just a toddler at the time.

The man behind the school: Vietnam vet known for advocating for disabled in El Paso

It was the end of the Vietnam War and many soldiers were on their way back home. Many were coming back with the after effects of war – PTSD, depression and physical disabilities – to a country that didn’t yet understand how to address such things. Spec. Rafael Hernando III said he was advised not to wear his uniform as he returned home to El Paso, but he refused to do so. He thought about how much it meant for him to serve, and the price he paid for it with the loss of his legs from a landmine.

How El Paso’s Thanksgiving Day Parade comes to life

Twenty volunteers have been working in a Central El Paso warehouse since May to get floats ready the Sun Bowl Association’s 83rd annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade is one of the organization’s premiere events to promote the Tony the Tiger Sunbowl football game Dec. 31. This year the holiday event theme is Bobble Heads on Parade. The Sun Bowl Association welcomes Hyundai of El Paso as the new sponsor.

Gloria Osuna Pérez honored with exhibit reminding us of her artistic legacy in El Paso

Gloria Osuna Pérez spent less than 15 of her 52 years on earth in El Paso. But the Chicana artist continues to be celebrated as a local treasure decades after her passing. Marking the twentieth anniversary of her death from ovarian cancer, the El Paso Museum of Art is featuring “Beyond Portaits,” an exhibition in honor of her work and iconic style. Osuna Pérez was born in Madera, California in 1947. As the child of migrant farm workers she worked the fields picking fruit and witnessed the rise of the Mexican-American civil rights movement.