SAMALAYUCA, MEXICO — Residents of this small farming town in northern Mexico petitioning authorities to stop a copper mine from opening have managed to temporarily halt the project. They started protesting last August after the Canadian mining corporation VVC Exploration announced plans to open the mine ‘La Gloria’ in the Samalayuca desert. A district judge on March 5th ordered the suspension of the mining project for at least five months, according to a report from El Diario de Juarez newspaper. But opponents know the fight is far from over in Samalayuca, a small agricultural town in Chihuahua about 35 miles south of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border. Residents and environmental activists protesting the mine are supported through various organizations including Frente Eco-Social Paso del Norte, Frente Ciudadano Contra la Mina, and Para Que No Nos Mine la Mina.
Juarez street vendors adapt to survive business downturn in the pandemic
A large community of mobile vendors depend on street sales to feed their families in Ciudad Juárez. The covid-19 pandemic disrupted the Mexican economy and threatened disaster for many who don’t hold traditional jobs along the border with Texas. Here is a look at what they were going through in 2021. “Elotes! Mangos!
How one U.S.-based Mexican crafts small business is trying to adapt to supply issues amid the pandemic
Dianna Williams-Hefley grew up with one foot on each side of the border. She spent her early years living in the United States, but due to job opportunities for her parents who were teachers, her family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. That’s where she went to high school. Williams-Hefley recalls being mesmorized by the art culture she experienced while living in Mexico. Enchanted by the vibrant colors of folk art and the traditional methods used in each handcrafted piece, Williams-Hefley’s appreciation for Mexican artisan work stayed with her even after returning to the U.S.
“I was always trying to figure out someway to get back to Mexico,” Williams-Hefley said.
Vendedores de El Bronco Swap Meet y Ascarate Flea Market tratan de sobrevivir la pandemia y la crisis económica
Dos de los mercados más populares en El Paso tratan de mantenerse a flote durante la pandemia.
Las puertas de El Bronco Swap Meet se encuentran cerradas y vendedores esperan la noticia por parte de los dueños de cuando podrán volver a operar. Por otro lado, Ascarate Flea Market abrió de nuevo después de dos meses de no operar al inicio de la pandemia.
Pandemic inspires Borderlanders to launch home-based online businesses
Borderlanders with creative skills and a bit of time on their hands because of the pandemic have launched online businesses to sell their crafts and other creative products.
Local business in Juarez adapts to border shutdown
CIUDAD JUAREZ — Months after the U.S.-Mexico border was closed to all but essential travel as a COVID-19 precaution, small businesses have been forced to find ways to new ways to cope.
“Many of our clients are from El Paso, so at first, they didn’t come as often because the situation was difficult,” said Natalia Briceño, 23, creative director for the nail salon Durazno Claro.
RV sales surge in the Borderland as the pandemic fuels interest in low-contact mode of travel
Sales of RVs have skyrocketed more than 31% in the past year and aren’t expected to abate as vacationers seek safe ways to travel during the pandemic, according to industry figures.
Borderland recreational vehicle retailers are experiencing the same national trend as local residents fill their showrooms buying up motorhomes and RVs, leaving lots almost empty.
South El Paso merchants struggle to hold on after sales plummet amid border travel restrictions
Downtown El Paso stores that have long relied on shoppers from neighboring Mexico for a majority of their sales have taken a big hit from cross-border travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entrepreneurial spirit flourishes at El Paso’s farmers markets
Farmers markets in El Paso provide not only local produce, arts and entertainment, they also bring entrepreneurial opportunities. Mother and daughter, Mary Maskill and Arianna Romero, operate Pretty in Lemon, a lemonade stand that can be seen at nearly every farmer and artist market location. “I’ve always wanted to open a business. It’s been a dream of mine to open my own business. It’s awesome to be your own boss,” said Romero, whose parents helped her open the lemonade and simple syrup stand.Maskill shares her daughter’s space with her own business called Pretty in Paper.
House passage of U.S., Mexico, Canada trade deal called victory for Texas
By Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House passed a major trade deal on Thursday that will reset the economic relationships within North America. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement passed with a 385-41 vote and will now head to the Senate, which is expected to approve it next year. The deal will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, a 1994 agreement that dramatically changed the landscape of the Texas economy. While the three countries announced the agreement a year ago, the deal hit some turbulence in the Democratically-controlled House. Many Texas lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have urged its passage, due to the state’s reliance on cross-border commerce with Mexico.
What you should know about opening a franchise restaurant in El Paso
Bringing a franchise restaurant to a new city may seem easy compared to opening a business from scratch. However, being a franchisee comes with its own set of challenges. “Some franchisees don’t realize how hard it is to get started and how hard it is to make it successful. It takes time and it takes a lot of work,” says Kirk Robison, chairman and chief executive officer of Pizza Properties Inc., which owns and operates 46 Peter Piper Franchises in Texas and two in Las Cruces. In September the company bought 10 El Paso Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar locations.
Fab Lab presenta al primer humanoide filosofo Aristoteles
CIUDAD JUÁREZ — Aristóteles, el primer humanoide filósofo fue creado con la idea de conversar y debatir al nivel del pensamiento de un humano. Ingeniero Mecánico Electricista Marco Barraza de 65 años, construyo el robot en Fab Lab, un laboratorio de creación de prototipos a pequeña escala en Ciudad Juárez. “Aristóteles es probar los algoritmos de inteligencia artificial la idea es que razone, escuche y hable como un humano, que vea casi como un humano, que vea y reconozca un objeto, reconozca personas y puede interactuar con una persona”, dijo Barraza. Conforme a esto, Aristóteles puede hacer casi todos los movimientos de la cintura, caderas, brazos, cabeza y ojos como un humano y leer una variedad de artículos al día. “Ahorita por ejemplo puede leer 25 mil artículos en día y hacer cerca de entre 300 a 500 mil fichas en un día, entonces va a ser un robot de conocimiento”, dice Barraza.
In this community, your keychain can hold access to shopping after hours
The MRKT at the Montecillo apartment community is never closed to residents – even if no one is on duty. Instead, residents of this smart-growth community on El Paso’s West Side can use a special key fob to enter the bodega and shop after hours. The cashierless concept follows the technology innovation of vendors like Apple, Sam’s Club and Amazon Go that make it convenient for shoppers to use an app to scan their own purchases and bypass a checkout line. The scan-and-go shopping concept is slowly catching on across the U.S., but mainly only available through major companies and generally limited to large, digitally savy cities. Amazon operates its Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco.
Meet the Empower Squad: Chica Chat launches supportive movement for El Paso’s next generation of women in entrepreneurship
The El Paso business community is getting a fresh, feminine makeover thanks to the new organization Chica Chat. “We’re here to empower each other, and to help each other, and to provide a safe space for women,” Chica Chat treasurer Ashley Valdez says. The nonprofit organization brings together young women who are entrepreneurs to provide them with the tools and knowledge for success. President Zoë Gemoets says she was reading the book “Work Party: How to Create and Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams” by Jaclyn Johnson when the idea for the group came to her. “At the end of the book she asks, ‘what are you doing to help the women of your community?’” so I was like ‘damn, what am I doing?’
Woman’s passion for customizing cars builds into multi-shop business in El Paso
Lina Rodriguez opened her first auto body shop with her husband with only $4,000 in the bank. “We started in the back of a garage,” said Rodriguez, who was working in the auto insurance field when she got the bug to customize cars after buying a used Mazda RX8. Her sudden passion for cars was surprising since she never cared much for them, even when her father owned his own shop. But, once she made her first customization on her Mazda she was hooked, and now her father works with her. Once she launched her auto repair and customization business, the demand for work quickly outgrew the two-car residential garage and she opened her first Buddy’s Body Shop.
Traveling shows extend showcase opportunities for tattoo artists
Stephanie “Chilindrina” Simon spends her time expressing herself through tattoos in her Lakewood, Colo., studio and placing her works of art on people’s bodies. She began her art as a hobby, eventually earned an internship and now expresses herself with tattoos. “I saw the opportunity for an apprenticeship and took it,” she said from her home. “Since then it really has become my world completely. The apprenticeship was difficult but once I had established a clientele base things started taking off and it became smoother as a profession to me.”
Simon, who is heavily tattooed, was one of 150 tattoo artists at the recent Star City Tattoo And Arts Expo at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center.
Prep meals businesses compete to replace big lunch burritos with healthier fare
Businesses offering prepared meals are hoping to dramatically change the way El Pasoans eat by offering healthy alternatives to fast food restaurants and heavy portions of Mexican food. Armando Garcia, 33, and Aurelio Garcia, 26, are the founders of Evolution Foods, 1420 N. Lee Trevino, a Kitchen by Get Fit El Paso. El Paso needs “good quality food but at an affordable price,” Armando Garcia said. His business prepares and packages low-calorie, low-carb meals daily for customers who want to eat healthy, but don’t want to spend time shopping and cooking. In addition to Evolution Foods, El Paso is now home to several meal preparation outlets:
Just Fit Foods, has two locations in El Paso – on the East Side on Montwood and on the West Side on Resler.
Movimiento Social Digital invita a los Mexicanos a #ConsumirLocal
Ante el anunció del presidente de Estados Unidos Donald Trump, de construir un muro en la frontera con México y deportar a miles de inmigrantes sin documentos, usuarios de redes sociales en México generaron varios hashtags defendiendo a México rechazando las medidas del gobierno estadounidense. Hashtags tales como #AdiosStarbucks #ConsumeLocal #MexicoUnidoyFuerte, #MexicoPrimero y #To2Unidos tenían por propósito de invitar a los mexicanos a unirse a un movimiento social digital para ayudar a la economía mexicana comprando productos producidos en la nación. Después de los hashtags, no podían faltar los memes que hicieron su aparición apoyando el movimiento digital que utilizaba a empresas y artistas mexicanos para realizar su sarcasmo humorístico. Muchos de estos memes se podrían considerar graciosos y divertidos. Gracias a la popularidad de los hashtags y memes muchos usuarios de redes sociales publicaban la bandera mexicana como un símbolo de solidaridad, patriotismo y apoyo a este movimiento social entre redes sociales.
El Technology HUB Implementa Tecnología e Innovación en Cd. Juarez.
Cerca del Centro Cultural Paso del Norte sobre la Avenida Lopez Mateos 924 se encuentran ubicadas las oficinas del Technology Hub. Una empresa tecnológicamente innovadora con fines de lucro que se dedica a enriquecer de manera positiva la vida de los Juarenses. La creatividad y la colaboración se puede ser apreciada al entrar a la oficina principal. Cerca de la entrada se encuentra un enorme tobogán color rojo y desde ese momento los visitantes se dan cuenta que no están en un una empresa común. Al caminar con dirección a la recepción se siente el visitante bienvenido, respetado e importante.
Gun sellers expanding their market in El Paso
EL PASO – This border city appears to be growing more gun-friendly as the number of gun dealers has increased by 29 percent in the past three years, according to a Borderzine analysis. The city now has 80 gun dealers compared to 62 in 2013, the analysis of ATF data showed.These figures include large retailers such as Walmart as well as private dealers, but exclude pawnbrokers who sell firearms.
“We have had peaks and valleys,” said Louis Southard, general manager at Sportsman’s Elite, a gun store and shooting range in El Paso, which has been open since January 2013. “In 2008, a little over five years ago, there was a rather large uptake in gun sales.” Tragic events can often drive an increase in gun sales, such as when the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred in December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children as well as six members of the school’s staff were fatally shot by a troubled gunman who killed himself after the attack.
El Paso florist teams with New Mexico flower farm to create ethical arrangements
EL PASO – When Juliana Varkonyi and her mother Mary Ibanez decided to open a flower shop, they knew they wanted it to reflect a sense of community and respect for the environment. That’s why they decided to open Desert Modern Florals in Downtown El Paso and then partner with Calhoun Flower Farms based in southern New Mexico. The shop is in the center of the Cortez Building downtown, across the street from the newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza. Ibanez said they chose the downtown location because of the revitalization that is going on right now. She wanted the business to be part of the emerging community.
El Paso’s new Whole Foods Market raises bar on local food choices
EL PASO – More than 1,000 people daily are shopping at the newly opened Whole Foods Market, supporting local vendors while enjoying organic foods not typically found in El Paso supermarkets. “Our first day open we expected to see a lot of people, but the amount of customers we’ve had has exceeded our expectations,” said Mark Heins, store manager. Whole Foods – founded in Austin in 1980 – has more than 460 stores worldwide and opened in El Paso on Oct. 19 in the heart of the West Side near Coronado High School at the corner of Mesa and Resler streets. “All in all we’ve been having great days, and not only was the public happy we were open but all the employee and management were happy we were open to finally see the El Paso community,” Heins said.
El Paso’s grand dame to be renovated as convention hotel, as a nearby boutique lodging strikes a modern chord
The 100-year-old Camino Real Hotel is about to receive a major facelift after a $70 million sale, a year after the introduction of another hotel that owners hope will become part of the downtown landscape. The Camino Real was built in 1912 by Zach T White alongside the local architectural firm Trost and Trost, for $1.5 million at the time. Its classical architecture is what keeps tourists ringing the hotel bell. The elegance of the lobby is certain to be noticed, as are the Tiffany glass dome in its variety of blue hues, multiple glass chandeliers and polished marble floors. “You can see a lot of the features [from 1912] in architecture back in the day,” said Paul Dillard, a visitor from Fort Worth.
Latino entrepreneurs make their mark through microbrewing
El Paso, TX – Carlos Guzmán opened his first bar while he was stationed in Iraq. Well, it was sort of a bar. And it sort of just happened. Guzmán was having a hard time buying liquor in Iraq, so he asked his friends and family to stash some little bottles in their care packages. “Little did I know that within a month we’d have over 50 bottles,” said Guzmán who was in the U.S. Army.
El Paso’s role in the once mighty metal smelting industry preserved at UTEP library
For more than 100 years the American Smelting and Refining Company, ASARCO, loomed large on the El Paso landscape. From its purchase of a copper refining plant in Smeltertown in 1910 until its massive towers were demolished in 2013, ASARCO was a major icon of El Paso’s role in the history of the mining industry. In this video, Borderzine multimedia reporter Ariadne Venegas walks us through the UT El Paso library exhibit on the history and impact of El Paso’s metal ore processing operations with ASARCO. Former employees share their memories of working at the plant.
San Diego Padres’ Mexico, borderlands strategy fitting well with El Paso Chihuahuas
The San Diego Padres are aiming to appeal not just to San Diego crowds, but also to fans in Mexico and border cities. With TV and radio broadcast deals in Tijuana. and playing two games in Mexico earlier this year, the Padres traveled to El Paso and faced their minor league affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, to bring the major league experience to the border. The Padres were just coming off from playing two games against the Houston Astros in Mexico City before coming to El Paso March 31. The idea ended up being a successful attempt to expand on the relationship Major League Baseball has with Mexico.
Top U.S. companies stash over a trillion dollars in offshore tax havens
By Erick Payne, SHFWire.com
WASHINGTON – The 50 biggest U.S. companies relied on a secretive network of more than 1,600 disclosed subsidiaries in tax havens to stash more than a trillion dollars offshore, according to an Oxfam America report released Thursday. The analysis shows how large U.S. companies use tax havens and other loopholes to dodge paying their fair share of taxes, according to Oxfam. The actions by multinational corporations cost the U.S. about $111 billion each year. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas or the Cayman Islands,” Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, said. Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization with the goal of creating solutions for poverty, hunger and injustice.
Fired IT staffer tells Senate H-1B visa program betrays U.S. workers
By Luke Torrance, SHFWire.com
WASHINGTON – In November 2014, the Walt Disney Company reported record $48.8 billion in sales. It was the fourth straight year of record profits. The theme parks – Walt Disney Land, Walt Disney World — generated $2.7 billion in profits, a 20 percent increase. It was a small piece of Disney’s enormous pie, but these profits alone will be more than “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will gross worldwide. With such an optimistic financial outlook, Leo Perrero was expecting good things when he was called to a meeting with Disney executives in late 2014.
Juarez booked up for pope, but El Paso hotels still have rooms
EL PASO — The “Two Nations, One Faith” visit from Pope Francis to Cd. Juarez has brought national attention to the border region, but not a lot of travelers looking for a place to stay in El Paso. The Catholic Diocese of Juarez is expecting 220,000 people to attend the Mass celebrated by the pope on Wednesday. Thousands more are expected to line the streets of Juarez hoping to catch a glimpse of the pontiff. And, one the other side of the border in El Paso, thousands are planning to receive a blessing from the pope while attending a simulcast of the papal Mass in the Sun Bowl on the UT El Paso campus.
Las maquiladoras de Juárez no están obligadas a dar un día feriado para la visita del Papa
CD. JUAREZ – Se esperaba que todas las dependencias de gobierno y de la industria maquiladora tendrían el 17 de febrero libre para celebrar la visita del Papa Francisco, pero ahora la organización encargada de coordinar las 360 maquiladoras dice que no es un día feriado para los 260,000 empleados del sector. Algunas han optado en dar el día 17 libre a cambio por otro día feriado. Otras han decidido seguir abiertas como cualquier día normal de trabajo. La Asociación Mexicana de Actuarios Consultores, organización que se encarga de coordinar las empresas maquiladoras, ha decidido que el día de la visita del Papa no es un día feriado para los empleado, sino que es decision de cada empresa dar el día a sus trabajadores para que ellos tengan la oportunidad de atender a la misa masiva.
‘Mexican Black Friday’ struggles to compete with U.S. deals in border towns
CD. JUAREZ– People gather in the electronics section of Walmart two weeks before Black Friday with their shopping carts still empty, going in circles among the store’s sales staff, who today wear red T-shirts announcing “the cheapest weekend of the year.”
As they tell shoppers that the price for the 60-inch flat-screen TV in front of them is the lowest they will ever see, someone with a microphone urges shoppers not to wait until Black Friday to do their Christmas shopping: “Forget about the long lines, ‘the good weekend’ is here.”
El Buen Fin, dubbed the Mexican Black Friday, took place from November 13 to November 16 this year. In past years, El Buen Fin has rung up to 197 billion pesos in sales, according to the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce (Conacaco), This year was expected to bring in between four to eight percent more. While El Buen Fin has been successful in most parts in México since its inception in 2011, it hasn’t had the same success in border cities such as Cd. Juárez where shoppers have access to U.S. Black Friday sales.