Ciudad Juarez is known as a sprawling border city with a strong economy thanks to the proliferation of of over 300 hundred maquiladoras, factories that assemble parts for a variety of items from car radios to windmill blades. Less well known is that the desert city of 2 million residents draws many El Paso residents to visit each day to patronize a variety of Juarez businesses from restaurants to clothing boutiques. These preferences are most visibly shown in the medical and retail sectors, but according to the Border Perception Index, a survey conducted as part of an initiative called Building Broader Communities in the Americas, the second main reason El Pasoans cross to Cd. Juarez is to shop for 21.5 percent of those polled. The primary reason for El Pasoans to go to Juarez, according to the survey, is to visit family or friends, as indicated by 44 percent of those surveyed.
EL PASO – The Franklin Mountains feature some of the Borderland’s most prominent scenic areas. With great views overlooking El Paso’s valleys, Downtown and Juarez, Mexico, it is a popular destination for El Pasoans and travelers alike. Runners and cyclists share the road with residents and tourists along the Rim Road route to Scenic Drive, where you can stand in one spot and see three states and two nations. Families and friends stroll through Tom Lea Park. There, an obelisk marks the southernmost point of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S.
But not everyone appreciates the view and moves on.
El Paso’s poor air quality is driving down school performance for children in neighborhoods with high rates of airborne metabolic disrupting chemicals, researchers say. In a study published in the September issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso and Northeastern University looked at school performance among fourth and fifth-grade public school children in El Paso. They found that children exposed to higher levels of airborne toxins had lower grade point averages,
Related: Air quality one of biggest threats on U.S., Mexico border
Study author Stephanie Clark-Reyna, a second-year doctoral student at Northeastern University who attended UTEP as an undergraduate, said she hopes the research will have an impact on how El Paso addresses its unique air quality issues. “Air quality in El Paso is concerning because of the trucking industry. Last time I looked it up, something like 800,000 trucks passed through a single port of entry in one year,” Clark-Reyna said.
EL PASO – Lower Valley resident Daniela Caro struggles to breathe some days. “On bad days my asthma gets really bad, my throat closes up, even walking to class is a little bit hard,” she said. The 23-year-old El Pasoan lives near Riverside where trucks spew toxic fumes as they transport goods across the El Paso-Juarez border. The American Lung Association ranks El Paso’s pollution in the top 20 among U.S. metropolitan areas for both particles and ozone. Poor air quality has been linked to health issues, particularly for at-risk groups like children, older adults and anyone with respiratory problems like asthma.