Los hermanitos Johan,10, e Irving, 11, sonríen cuando hablan de todas las cosas que harán cuando su padre les compre la visa que les prometió. (Vianey Alderete/Borderzine.com)

Marcha católica al pie de la frontera reza por la reforma inmigratoria

Read this story in English. SUNLAND PARK, NM – Con los dedos enganchados en los diamantes de metal que forman la malla fronteriza, Johan, 10, y su hermano Irving, 11, luchan contra los penetrantes rayos del sol desde el lado mexicano para poder abrir sus ojos y observar en detalle a la gente que ya empieza a llegar por carro de este lado de la frontera. Unos 150 feligreses católicos y los obispos de Ciudad Juárez y El Paso se reunieron el sábado 7 de septiembre junto a la malla que separa dos países en el vecindario Anapra, para orar por la reforma migratoria. Con líderes de la diócesis de Ciudad Juárez del otro lado y las diócesis de El Paso, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Brownsville, San Ángelo, Piedras Negras y San Antonio de este, la comunidad católica mostró  su apoyo por los derechos de los inmigrantes al reunirse en el desierto fronterizo celebrando una misa de solidaridad. Las oraciones fueron dirigidas por el obispo Gustavo Rodríguez Vega de Nuevo Laredo y el arzobispo de la arquidiócesis de San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, quienes mencionaron claramente que el evento era para señalar la necesidad de una amplia y justa reforma migratoria americana, según los principios de la enseñanza social católica.

Washington remembers, celebrates the 50th anniversary of March on Washington

WASHINGTON – When Ethel Delaney Lee,87, heard about plans for the March on Washington in 1963, she knew it was something she wanted to participate in. She didn’t expect it to be such a defining moment in history, but soon realized how important this gathering was. “It was in the news, in the newspapers, announcements in the churches. You couldn’t exist in Washington and not hear about it,” Lee said in an interview in the Northwest Washington home she moved into just weeks before the march. Lee, her late husband.

Having skate parks for El Paso’s action sports enthusiast also draws them more into the community, and according to Robertson, helps encourage good citizenship. (David A. Reyes)

Local nonprofit propels skateboarding into area parks

EL PASO – El Paso City Council approves a $1.4 million bond for the construction of the largest skate park in the region with help from a tireless local organization. The new state-of-the-art skate park in Northeast El Paso, began construction in June financed by the 2012 Quality of Life bonds approved by City Council. The park is scheduled to be completed by August 30, 2014. “We firmly believe that skateboarding, BMX, and all action sports are here to stay,” said Bill Robertson, assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso and member of the El Paso Skatepark Association, “[these sports are] part of our culture, and by making parks available you’re actually extending opportunities not only to young people, but also to families.”

Part of this skate-park project stems from an idea that Robertson, Paul Zimmerman, and Gabe Lawler devised back in 2008, when skateboarders and El Paso City Hall got together to build more “high quality” concrete facilities for skateboarders, according to the association. The El Paso Skatepark Association has ushered in 17 skate parks in El Paso County, with 10 within city limits.

Un trabajador agrícola mantiene el campo limpio de hierbas con el tractor donde se cosecha la fresa en Oxnard, California. (Photo: Martha Ramírez/El Nuevo Sol)

Trabajadores indocumentados continúan alimentando la industria agrícola de los Estados Unidos

Por Martha Ramírez

Desde hace ocho años, Ismael Contreras y su esposa, Consuelo Magaña, han trabajado en la agricultura, específicamente en la pizca de frutas y vegetales por el oeste de los Estados Unidos. “Fue muy difícil venirnos y viajar hacia los Estados Unidos sabiendo que llegaríamos a un estado donde no conoceríamos a nadie”, dice Magaña. Para ellos la decisión de emigrar no fue fácil especialmente cuando tuvieron que dejar todo lo que tenían en México y comenzar desde cero. Por muchos años, hombres y mujeres de diferentes partes del mundo han inmigrado a los Estados Unidos a trabajar en la pizca de frutas y vegetales. Algunos llegan con visas de trabajo mientras otros cruzan a los Estados Unidos sin autorización.

Mike "Sarge" Preston, Program Director and DJ at KOFX 92.3

The faces behind the voices of radio disc jockeys

EL PASO – While you listen to your favorite song during your commute to work, there is a small team of radio disc jockeys pulling levers, pushing buttons, flicking switches and orchestrating the entire three-four minute performance. This is an inside look into the lives of three DJs and the DJ booth. Sarge Preston, Jojo Garcia and Victor Cruz are three local radio DJs at KFOX 92.3. The three DJs have a combined 91 years of experience. Their time spent on air is a very small part of their daily job responsibilities but it is also the favorite part of their workday.

Un equipo de escaramuzas hace una demostración en un lienzo de El Paso. (Jessica Salcedo/Borderzine.com)

Escaramuzas Zapatistas – Ocho muchachas a todo galope

HORIZON CITY, TX – Todo empieza con tradición, lo traen en sus venas, y viene de su cultura. Después se convierte en pasión por el deporte y luego el amor crece por los caballos. Las Escaramuzas Zapatistas son un grupo de ocho muchachas que se atreven a montar un caballo y realizar rutinas peligrosas a todo galope. Vestidas de Adelitas o de Charras, este equipo monta sus caballos arriba de una albarda, que es un montura especial donde las escaramuzas pueden colocar sus dos piernas a un lado en vez de montar el caballo con las piernas abiertas. “Ellas practican tres veces a la semana, de dos a tres horas,” dijo Teresa Castro instructora de escaramuza charra de las Zapatistas.

Prerna Lal, 28, and Lindsay Schubiner, 28, a same-sex bi-national couple, participate in the "first National DREAM wedding. (Luis Hernández/Borderzine.com)

Wedding joins two persons and two causes – LGBT advocacy and the DREAMers movement

Special to Borderzine

WASHINGTON – In the quaint and inconspicuous Lutheran Church of the Reformation, situated right next to the Supreme Court, a wedding is about to take place. A crowd of media, LGBT advocacy groups and hundreds of National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) DREAMers, begins to find its way to the seats, setting aside signs and banners. The couple arrives minutes later. The bride is wearing a slim-fitting white dress, while the groom is sporting a blue tie and shirt. Both are wearing white flower tiaras.

"Stand with families" was the clamor of students members of United We Dream. (Luis Hernandez/Borderzine.com)

DREAMers march on Capitol Hill to put a human face on the struggle for immigration reform

WASHINGTON – A group of college students dressed in blue graduation gowns sit in a gallery during a U.S. Senate hearing, their eyes fixed on the Senate floor, watching attentively as a steady stream of yay votes are tallied and read out loud by the clerk. They’re not the usual student visitors on a school-sanctioned field trip to the Capitol – they’re DREAMers and the vote they are witnessing will ultimately decide the legality of their residency in this country. The Senate Bill 744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act more commonly known as the Immigration bill, passed its first hurdle June 11 on an 82-15 vote, with 54 Democrats and 28 Republicans voting to move the bill to the floor. With congressmen all around Washington voicing their opinions to anyone who would listen, the DREAMers sought to place a human face on immigration and let them know the repercussions of their rhetoric. The students are members of United We Dream (UWD), a nonpartisan network made up of 52 affiliate organizations in 25 states, and one of the largest immigrant youth-led organizations in the nation.

Korean Americans consider it easier to adapt in El Paso because Hispanic culture is also family oriented. (Hecko Flores/Borderzine.com)

Korean Kimchi finds a friendly red chili pepper in El Paso

EL PASO – There was a slight tremor in the hands. The arms were thin and pale, yet strong as they helped hold up and set up one of the lights at the factory. His thick and heavy eyeglasses sat lower than they were supposed to be. Judy Lee, 54, observed as her restless 77-year-old uncle, Dr. William Lee, descended from a high stool after changing a bright light bulb that reflected off his bald head. “Be careful uncle!” said Judy as the elderly man stepped down from the stool and kept himself busy working around the factory.

Multimedia journalism academy gives teachers time to learn

On a Saturday morning in early June, a UTEP classroom buzzed with anticipation as students sat in front of computers and watched demonstrations on the brave new world of multimedia journalism. Their teachers were seasoned pros in the arts of sound recording, social media, videography, web programming, and much more. The students themselves were professionals in a different regard; they were university professors who had traveled from all over the country to participate in the fourth annual Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy hosted by UTEP. By the end of their five-day intensive program, the group of journalism teachers had learned to beat the El Paso summer heat as well as how to use the technology available to them to educate upcoming generations of reporters. The group included representatives from the University of Arizona, San Diego City College, Arizona State University, North Texas University, California State University at Long Beach, Texas State University, Texas Christian University, Illinois State University,Central Michigan University, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Florida International University and the University of Oklahoma.

cattle cowboy

Vacas sin fronteras: Livestock crossing fuels economy

SANTA TERESA, NM – It’s a Tuesday morning in June and a few hundred head of cattle are running across the U.S.-Mexico border. The Santa Teresa International Export/Import Livestock Crossing is the busiest in the U.S. It is one of the few crossings where cattle are permitted to run across the border, avoiding the need for cattle trailers and long lines at international ports. “Last year was our largest amount of cattle crossed in a year,” said Director Daniel Manzanares. “Usually, we do an average of 300,000-310,000 animals a year. We were at 478,000, close to $300 million worth of commerce.”

The facility is owned by a cooperative of 5,000-7,000 Mexican ranchers, Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua Co-op Inc., and is 35 acres on the U.S. side and about a third larger on the Mexico side of the border, Manzanares said.

Desplante con adorno. Fue la primera vez que McCormick tocó un cuerno de toro. ( ©Henry Holt & CO.)

Recuerdan en Cd. Juárez a Patricia McCormick y el arte de ser torera en una afición masculina

EL PASO — Patricia McCormick le tiró derechazos, pero el toro no los miró. Ella continuó incitando con la muleta, supo que el toro quería agarrarla con los cuernos. Fue entonces que la levantó, el pitón había penetrado trece pulgadas en su pantorrilla. Se dio cuenta que tenía que matarlo. McCormick describe su segunda cornada en su libro Lady Bullfighter.

Afghan women work in sewing factories to make uniforms and blankets for their military. Afghanistan, 2011 (Photo Courtesy of Andrea Salazar)

Picturing the people and ruins of Afghanistan

EL PASO — Afghan women sit one behind another, feeding tan thread into their sewing machines, looking down at their work in concentration, while one gazes through the slit of her Hijab, her dark eyes piercing the camera lens. This was a photo taken by El Paso native Andrea Salazar during her deployment two years ago. Joining the Air Force in 2009, Salazar has captured images from different parts of the world as a combat photographer in the military. “I never thought about joining in high school,” Salazar said. “When I worked at Ft.

Chole Saldaña has been buying "esponjas" for 30 years. (Pablo Hernández-Batista/Borderzine.com)

Bowie Bakery – 42 years of traditional pan dulce

EL PASO – In Segundo Barrio, the traditional way is the best way. Especially when you’re taking about “pan dulce.” Since 1951 customers have been returning to Bowie Bakery on the corner of 7th and Park in downtown El Paso to get their “esponjas, marranitos, polvorones and empanadas de piña.”

Located on the city’s south side, the Segundo Barrio is home to more than 8,000 people, according to City of El Paso statistics. A morning drive through the neighborhood would typically encounter a variety of colorful murals as well as locals looking for day labor. The bakery has been in the Marquez family for the past 42 years and is now owned by Juan Marquez who continues the family tradition of making El Paso’s favorite bread. The bakery, known for its “sabrosos panes de dulce” and family-oriented service, has played host to presidents, members of congress and other dignitaries looking for the best baked goods in El Paso.

Mirel Argueta, a Juarez native and a professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey en Juárez, and Reinaldo Sánchez, Colombian and recent PhD graduate. (Courtesy of Mirel Argueta)

Love knows no boundaries for couples divided by the U.S.-Mexico border

EL PASO – Although El Paso and Juárez are sister cities, they are divided by differences and obstacles that present real-life challenges to unmarried couples whose relationships straddle the border. Three couples, all in their 20s, discuss their transnational relationships, explaining how they wish they could live in the same city with their partners and even though they speak the same language they still clash over differences in lifestyle. However, these committed relationships seem to be strong. Gina Nuñez-Mchiri, associate professor of sociology at UTEP, said, “I would say that love knows no boundaries, but boundaries are real, right? But it’s love that makes you resilient and hopeful, and people find ways.”

The testimony of these three couples lovingly expresses the adage “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Mirel & Reinaldo

“When I met him, I was like, ‘Oh my God.

Marfa, TX, a town of about 2,000 people is a hub for contemporary art in the Southwest. (Amber Watts/Borderzine.com)

Marfa – Tiny Texas town is a vibrant hub for contemporary art in the Southwest

MARFA, TX – An hour’s drive north of Ojinaga, Mexico, sits an isolated “little island of actors, writers, and artists of all kinds” as gallery owner, Ree Willaford, affectionately calls this west Texas town of 2,000 souls. Willaford is the owner, director and curator of Galleri Urbane, with locations here and in Dallas, specializing in contemporary art. In Marfa, the satellite exhibit lounge is located at the Thunderbird Hotel. Willaford and her family started in 1992 with “Contradiction,” an organic juice and coffee shop that also carried non-organic treats like tiramisu in historic Ybor City, the old Hispanic cigar-making district of Tampa, Florida. The Willaford family then moved to Silver City, New Mexico where Ree’s husband Jason, an artist, started open house showings with photographer Michael Burman.

The National Domestic Hotline states that 15 percent of Americans admit to having been in a domestic relationship that included violence. (Azucena Santos/Borderzine.com)

An abusive relationship can lead to physical and emotional violence

EL PASO – On a regular workday, less than a year ago, Corina Rivera realized her life was in real danger. She had been the victim of physical and emotional abuse by her ex-boyfriend and now he was calling, wanting to meet with her to apologize for the “incidents” that had occurred in the last two months of their relationship. Rivera, 25, asked him to meet her in front of Wal-Mart. She thought a public place would be best. She noticed that he drove up in a car that was not his own.

Instructor Stan Huber and student Alyssa Garcia at ballroom practice. (Kimberly Garcia/Borderzine.com)

¿Bailamos? An invitation to ballroom dancers of all ages

EL PASO – A studio tucked away in a little strip shopping center on the west side of town teaches ballroom dancing to dancers of all ages, from all walks of life. The reasons why they came to this studio vary from curiosity to losing a bet, but they all share one thing in common – a passion for ballroom dance. “It’s been a wonderful experience,” says Cynthia Garcia, 27. Garcia has been dancing for two and a half years and still continues to dance along with her younger sister Alyssa Garcia. It was her younger sister says Garcia who introduced her to the ballroom dance.

Amanda Marie Cordero is looking forward to living her life how she always dreamed. (Michelle Blanks/Borderzine.com)

A new El Paso support group forms to help patients suffering from Vasculitis

EL PASO – The bulky machine beside the young woman beeps in cadence with her heartbeat as a large IV bag pumps fluids into her body via the needle in her vein on her upper hand. The nurse comes into the room to check her vitals and remind the family of visiting hours. “You know I can’t even count the number of times I have been in and out of the hospital anymore,” said Amanda Marie Cordero, a 23 year old woman suffering from a “flair up” of Vasculitis, an auto immune disorder. According to the non-profit Vasculitis Foundation, the illness is a “condition that involves inflammation in the blood vessels.” It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system begins to attack its own blood vessels. The exact causes of Vasculitis are unknown but can be attributed to numerous causes such as infection, medication or can be brought on by another condition or disease.

Amnesty prospects: Where do they come from, and where do they live?

IMPERIAL, Calif.—The first day of Senate debate on immigration reform ended in Washington today with several proposed changes accepted and several tossed by the 18-member committee poring over the merits of the almost 900-page S. 744, the proposed ‘‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.’’

The bill would offer conditional amnesty and a path to citizenship to an estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S., among other provisions, all of which will require months of debate and amending before adoption. In the meantime, fundamental questions like where those millions of people come from and where they live in America beg some answers. Statistics in the following video come from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Public Policy Institute of California.

Giving a voice to immigration reform

EL PASO – Downtown vendors stood motionless at the doorways of their stores and shoppers stopped in their tracks on an early afternoon in April. Only the faint protest of marchers could be heard heading up El Paso street, but with each step closer their voices became strong and loud. “Sí se puede. Yes we can!” they shouted, “Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha (Listen Obama, we are in a struggle).”

BNHR, based in El Paso, is a human rights advocacy organization that is primarily active in immigration and border policy. The group which represents 700 families, helped organize this event, in addition to several others around the city.

From left, candidates Dean Martinez, Steve Ortega and Jaime O. Perez at a recent mayoral forum hosted by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. (Michelle Blanks/Borderzine.com)

Eight aspirants vie for one job – Mayor of El Paso

EL PASO – Eight men who aspire to run this city sit, slowly drinking water from Styrofoam cups in front of an audience some 120 persons, in anticipation of the questions they have to answer to prove they are worthy of the title of mayor. The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce held a mayoral forum recently where the candidates in the May 11 election attempted to prove they each were the best man for the job. Present in the packed hall were: educator Jorge Artalejo, business owner Robert Cormell, mortgage broker Gus Haddad, businessman Oscar Leeser, education management specialist Hector Lopez, U.S. Department of Defense retiree Dean Martinez, city representative Steve Ortega, and educator Jaime Perez. “There is a confidence in the community, optimism about El Paso that I have not seen since living here. If you support my candidacy you support the continued improvement of this community in a positive and ambitious direction,” said Ortega in an opening statement allotted to each candidate in reference to why they would be an ideal mayor for El Paso.

"This star is part of a U.S. flag which flew proudly over El Paso, Texas. Keep this star and let it guide you home to the arms of a grateful nation." (David A. Reyes/Borderzine.com)

Veterans of an old war honor today’s soldiers

EL PASO – Each of the 50 stars on a retired American flag is cut out into a rectangle and slid into a small plastic bag, accompanied by a message on a card and is given to soldiers being deployed to war zones by veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. The message, which the soldier keeps, reads,  “This star is part of a U.S. flag which flew proudly over El Paso, Texas. Keep this star and let it guide you home to the arms of a grateful nation.” “The most rewarding is giving them our appreciation for their service,” says veteran Miguel Fernandez, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Wieland C. Norris Chapter 844. These pieces of the flag are given to soldiers headed overseas by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 844.

The 5th UTEP Queer Prom was sponsored by the Student Development Center, the Queer Student Alliance, the Rainbow Miner Initiative and the Campus Activities Board. (Andrea Castro/Borderzine.com)

UTEP’s Queer Prom relives the prom that should have been

EL PASO – Evening gowns sparkle and rented tuxedos shine in the fond memories of that special evening called prom night, but for Gabriel Romero the prom was just another high school event in which he couldn’t be himself. Many young adults who are a part of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community, struggle with the lack of meaningful memories they have of their prom because they were either too afraid of coming out, or were not allowed to bring the date of their choice. “I never went to my prom because at the moment I just couldn’t bring my boyfriend around,” said Romero. “I wasn’t ready to come out.”

As a fun way to support those who may have been excluded from their prom because of sexual preference, The University of Texas at El Paso’s Queer Student Alliance organized its 5th annual Queer Prom at UTEP on April 13th. About one fourth of all students from elementary age through high school are victims of bullying and harassment while on school property because of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation, according to the LGBTQ Community Website.

New UTEP football Head Coach Sean Kugler. (Domingo Martinez/Borderzine.com)

UTEP football – New coach, new attitude, new season

EL PASO – After nine seasons, the University Texas at El Paso head football coach Mike Price decided to retire in the final year of his contract, in November 2012. A few weeks later UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull hired former UTEP offensive linesman, assistant coach and Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Sean Kugler. The players expect Kugler to take UTEP football to the top like the last two head coaches did. “Our new coach is a real strict guy,” said wide receiver Jacob Garcia a sophomore majoring in criminal justice.  “It’s goanna be a positive impact with the team because we’re going to have more discipline with him and the new coaching staff. It can help the team do our best on Saturdays and maybe win more games and go to a bowl game,” said Garcia.