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.

Photo gallery: Migrant children draw their gratitude for El Paso’s kindness

Since early October, the El Paso region has seen an influx of asylum seekers released to the community after processing by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Thousands of people – mostly families from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but also from Cuba, Nicaragua and other nations  – have passed interviews in which they have shown credible fear of persecution if returned to their home countries. They now face an immigration court process that could take years to determine their fate. But for the time being, they are legally entitled to live in the United States. Upon release by ICE in El Paso, their first stop is a “hospitality center” run by a nonprofit called Annunciation House, which has provided services to migrants for more than 40 years.

Photo Gallery: March for Truth in El Paso

A coalition of 40 organizations, possible presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar marched about a mile with some 10,000 people to Delta Park as part of a March for Truth to counter the President Donald Trump’s rally at the nearby El Paso County Coliseum on Monday evening. Carrying homemade signs in English and Spanish, the crowd  called for improved human rights, peace and an end to lies about the border. The march ended at the park with speeches by O’Rourke, Escobar and live music.

Photo Gallery: Trump Rally in El Paso

Thousands of cheering people joined President Donald Trump for a Make American Great Again rally – his first of the year – at the El Paso County Coliseum on Monday evening while thousands more outside the building watched his speech on a big screen erected in the parking lot. Trump was joined on stage by Texas GOP Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as Donald Trump Jr. prior to the rally. The nationwide audience carried Build the Wall and Finish the Wall signs as the president extolled the virtues of a wall and reducing illegal immigration in one of the safest cities in the United States.

UTEP legends honored as women’s basketball team celebrates 45th anniversary

Sporting a Miners long-sleeve navy T-shirt and a matching cap, Gloria Estrada – a member of the first UTEP women’s basketball team – stepped foot on the court in Memorial Gym where she once stood more than four decades ago. “It brings back so many memories,” Estrada said as she looked around the gym. Estrada – now a member of the UTEP and El Paso Sports Halls of Fame – was one of the founding members of the UTEP women’s basketball team. Little did she know, that as a young woman from the farming community of Fabens, Texas, she would leave her mark in UTEP history and pave the way for young women just like her. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of the women’s basketball team.

Con sus narices rojas ‘a la orden,’ Doctores de la Risa ofrecen apoyo a niños y ancianos de Juarez

En Cd. Juárez Chihuahua, el grupo de “Doctores de la Risa Nariz a la Orden” se caracteriza por brindar sonrisas y ratos agradables a personas vulnerables como niños y ancianos. El encargado del grupo Fernando Guijarro, 43, conocido como el Dr. Maromas, quien dice que encontró el grupo por casualidad, lleva más de ocho años formando parte de esta labor y al mismo tiempo ejerciendo la profesión de contaduría. “Cuando uno no está buscando algo y se lo encuentra pues piensa uno que es algo divino. Yo encontré este grupo después de pasar por muchos momentos difíciles de inseguridad aquí en Cd.

Gallery: Portrait of the Lower Rio Grande

The Lower Rio Grande in New Mexico extends from Elephant Butte Dam to the border of Texas and Mexico. These photos were part of a student photography project in the spring 2018 semester at UT El Paso when the river flow was reduced for the season. The images were taken along the river between Las Cruces and Sunland Park, New Mexico. According to the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer Interstate Stream Commission: “The Rio Grande Project consists of Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs, multiple diversion dams and several hundred miles of canals and drains within New Mexico and Texas. The project was designed to provide a reliable supply of surface water to specific lands in what are now Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) and El Paso County Water Improvement District No.

Gallery: Little Havana 2018 photos

Little Havana – a neighborhood immediately west of Downtown Miami – was once the placeholder for thousands of political exiles who fled Cuba. Now, the enclave remains home to many Cubans, but also is home to bars and restaurants like the Ball and Chain, El Pub, La Carreta, Versailles and other popular spots where locals and tourists alike gather for a taste of the old country. Several Cuban cigar shops dot the landscape, but the now diversified neighborhood has become a spot to see and be seen. One of the area’s many highlights is Domino Park where primarily Cuban men gather to play the game, often accompanied by families seeing the ivory pieces move across the table as other play chess.

Video: Faith-based shelter gives migrants ‘hospitality, some semblance of humanity’

Volunteers at Casa Vides, a shelter for migrants in El Paso, explain how the non-profit provides comfort for people trying to navigate the U.S. immigration system. Casa Vides is one shelter in a sanctuary network for refugees and homeless poor managed by the faith-based Annunciation House. This video story was produced as part of a collaborative reporting project with Borderzine staff and Youth Radio. http://borderzine.com/2018/06/summer-job-at-el-paso-migrant-shelter-proves-vastly-different-experience-for-notre-dame-students/

No retirement in sight for fruit vendors working to help sick granddaughter

Cuitlahuac and Maria Hernandez can be found at the Canutillo flea market on weekends selling fresh fruit treats to help support their family. The money they make goes to help Maria’s 97-year-old mother and their 9-year-old granddaughter, who needs surgery. “We’ll keep going for as long as she’s still sick. When she’s no longer sick that’s when we’ll think about stopping our business,” Cuitlahuac Hernandez says. “While she’s still like this, we pray to God we don’t get sick so we can continue to help her.”

In this video they share their story.

Streetcar construction project nears end of the track in El Paso

After months of railwork, the most disruptive phase of the El Paso streetcar construction project is nearing completion. The route stretches four point eight miles and will connect travelers from El Paso’s international bridges to Downtown and a UT El Paso common parking area. 

Reporter Michael Kelley has this report as crews work to put tracks down across Mesa Street, one of the city’s busiest roadways.

It is rose time in El Paso

Spring is the time to visit El Paso’s Municipal Rose Garden at 1702 N. Copia Street. Borderzine reporter Ariadne Venegas took this tour of the venue in 2016.

Borderland Facebook foodies having fun rating restaurants with Juarez celebrity scale

Garnachas y restaurantes Juárez y El Paso is a Facebook group that has been gaining popularity among border residents. It began as a hobby two years ago and now is an online community with more than 50,000 members. The driving motivation for the group is to stimulate Juarez business and entertainment activity following a half decade of a declining economy and business closings sparked by high crime and violence. Group members rate Juarez restaurants and cafes on a scale of one to 10, using colloquial Juarez personalities such as superstar “divo” Juan Gabriel and the well-known clown Niko Lico, and others. For example, ten “Juangas” means the establishment is super good and one Niko Lico, means it is awful.

El Paso’s forgotten historical sites gather dust on the border

Weeds grow high around the empty buildings on the land where many say El Paso got its start. The spot where Don Juan de Oñate is believed to have led a Spanish expedition in 1598 after discovering the Pass to the North is marked by little more than an abandoned fountain. Generations later in 1850, El  Paso pioneer Simeon Hart established Hart’s Mill in the same area of Paisano Drive on the edge of the Rio Grande. Now there is just La Hacienda, a restaurant that closed down decades ago. The officers quarters from Old Fort Bliss, built between 1873 and 1893 still stand nearby – also empty and forgotten.

Video: Poppies Fest returns with spring in Franklin Mountains

EL PASO, Texas — The foothills are alive with the spread of golden poppies along Castner Range. Recent rains makes this a good year to see a lot of blooms on the northeast side of the Franklin Mountains, said Deborah Cuilty, executive director of Poppies Fest 2015 at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. UT El Paso Multimedia Journalism student Robert Smith filed this video report on the April 4 event.  

Fast and furious go-kart trend rolls into El Paso

EL PASO –The go-carts at Zero to 60 Indoor Motor Speedway aren’t your dad’s go-karts. “That was a rush,” says Pearl Martinez. “This was our first time here, my son and I did one race, and it was such a rush we had to do it again. The go-karts are super fast, and you actually drift a bit! I’m hooked now.”

Sporting the newest in cart technology, the totally electric carts at Zero to 60 Motor Speedway can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour.

El zapateo folclórico ayuda a la comunidad Hispana preservar su cultura

EL PASO — Es miércoles por la noche y mientras la mayoría de los jóvenes en la frontera se relajan jugando Xbox o terminando sus deberes escolares, los bailarines de la academia de baile, Ballet Folclórico of El Paso, pasan tres horas practicando pasos de baile, practicando su español y estudiando la cultura mexicana y sus tradiciones. Con una gran sonrisa y vestido de charro, Esteban Esquivel, de 18 años zapatea enérgicamente las tablas del piso de madera y hace retumbar las paredes del salon donde practica el baile folclórico con otros 10 alumnos. “Yo siento el amor por la cultura de México”, dijo Esquivel, un estudiante de último año en Cathedral High School que nació en El Paso. “La representación de mi cultura mexicana para mi es algo muy grande, yo viviendo en los Estados Unidos no tengo que olvidarme de la cultura mexicana y de donde vinieron mis papas. Yo también tengo que vivir y sentir la tradición de México a pesar de ser estadounidense”.

Farewell to Chicano activist Reies Lopez Tijerina

Friends, family and community members pay their last respects to Chicano civil-rights leader Reies López Tijerina, who died Jan. 19, 2015 in El Paso at the age of 88. Related story: Reies López Tijerina celebrated as a dedicated leader for Chicano rights

Our Lady of Guadalupe Street Art (Photo Gallery)

 

EL PASO – On December 12 Catholics the world over, especially in Latin America, celebrate the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. In Mexico this is one of the most important holidays of the year. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico. She is called La Reina de Mexico the Queen of Mexico and is quite a cultural icon. In 1999 Pope John Paul II proclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe a patron saint of all the Americas. Photography students at UT El Paso compiled this gallery of images of Our Lady of Guadalupe seen on murals and signs throughout the city.  

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal. Photo courtesy ABC.

‘Scandal’ fashion hits the racks in El Paso

By Estefania Y. Seyffert

EL PASO – Fans of the hit ABC TV series “Scandal” have been delighted to find the fashion of their favorite character available in a local store. Scandal joined forces with The Limited Store’s head designer Elliot Staples, costume designer Lyn Paolo, and actress Kerri Washington, to create an affordable collection reflecting the style of Washington’s character, Olivia Pope. “People want to dress like Olivia Pope, they want to be Olivia Pope,” said Sarah Perez, sales lead manager at The Limited at Sunland Park Mall

Although most of the collection is made to resemble the type of clothing Olivia Pope would wear, some highlighted pieces such as a crème wool coat and a charcoal jacket are as seen on the show. Some pieces have tags that inform shoppers which articles of clothing have already been seen in the series

Fashion Merchandising student Claudia Garza at Texas State University in San Marcos explains how the extensive detail and neutral color palette gives the career clothes a more feminine feel. “Sometimes people think career clothes or professional attire would age somebody, however this collection brings about some modern twists,” Garza said.  

Fire, dance, fun fuel Odd Lab entertainment project

Odd Lab, a flow arts entertainment troupe, found a new level of expression while preparing for its performance at El Paso’s Chalk the Block festival in October. “This pushes us to a theatrical production standard that we’ve never had the incentive to really accomplish,” said Georgina Armendariz-Ramirez, director and coordinator of the group. Find out more about Odd Lab at their website here. Members of Odd Lab, who practice on Rim Road overlooking the city, spent up to 12 hours a day perfecting their skills and planning for the 7th annual Chalk the Block, which drew more than 30,000 people to Downtown El Paso October 10-12. The group unveiled a 20 minute Shadow Box Theatre show as well as a 40 minute fire show that were developed especially for the festival.

The Mextasy of William Nericcio dashes stereotypes and builds ‘mexicanidad’

EL PASO— The Mexican experience in America, presented with verve as a celebration of the culture and and as a bulwark against negative stereotypes in popular art and media was dubbed Mextasy by Dr. William Anthony Nericcio. “This anti-Mexican fervor needs to be met with a kind of invocation of mexicanidad that needs to be equally strong,” Nericcio says. “You got to attack it with the same power with the same fervor, with the same dynamic focus.”

Nericcio captivated a room of faculty members and students when he came to the University of Texas at El Paso recently to discuss and present his travelling art show,

TheMextasypop-up exposition contains objects that Nericcio has collected over the years, Ranging from dolls to posters that harken back to the 1950’s representing and satirizing the Mexican experience in the United States, representing an analysis of Hollywood’s contribution to perceptions of Mexican ethnic identities. Nericcio gets serious when addressing how consumers should fight the negative commentary on Mexicans that some commentators in media like Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter advocate. Ectasy healing

For Nericcio, Mextasy can be seen as a form of defense and cure against those Mexican stereotypes and tropes.