3 fresh El Paso fashion designers to watch

In my eyes, El Paso has always been known for the borderland culture. From its border cuisine to expansive city views, El Paso is unique from the rest of Texas. Now, it appears to be making space for individual fashion culture. In recent years the city has embraced the growth of local fashion designers. Here’s a look at three brands that are gaining buzz.HYONÖSISDesigner Nathaniel Espinoza is an El Paso Community College media advertising major whose work has been seen on several celebrities.

Navigating new worlds: How a golf scholarship took me beyond the El Paso bubble

Since I was a child I dreamed of leaving El Paso. Little did I realize it would be nothing like I expected when I finally got my way out with a scholarship from Ranger College to play collegiate golf. The college is in Ranger, Texas, a little town two hours west of Dallas. The main street that crosses the whole town has only one yellow flashing traffic light. Getting across town takes about 10 minutes.

What we’ve lost since the Miss Black El Paso Pageant ended in 2018

I never imagined myself as the type of girl to compete in beauty pageants. I never really liked being in the spotlight.

However, from an early age, my mother just knew that one day I would be a contestant in the Miss Black El Paso pageant, walk across the stage, accepting my crown and sash. We argued about it for years. Finally I gave in and ran for Miss Black El Paso in 2016.
In the year of my reign, I attended many events throughout the city. The majority of events my mom and I booked ourselves.

Young Black girls would run up to me and hug me and each time I was reminded why this was so important. In a predominantly Hispanic city like El Paso there are not many Black pageant queens walking around. In these little girls’ eyes I was a hero.

ADHD in College: Struggles and strategies with my neurodivergence

I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 after I bit a girl on the arm because she had stolen a crayon from me. Before that point though, I had already been a problem child in school, with this incident simply being the last straw. I was restless, made bad decisions, and struggled more than my peers to understand why the things I was doing were wrong. The school I went to asked my parents to take me in for a diagnosis, and after my parents and my teacher answered some questions on my behalf, I was officially diagnosed and prescribed medication.The struggles didn’t stop after I was handed some medicine though, as I was still very different than majority of the people I knew. Growing up, it seemed like nobody struggled in the ways I did.

A break from college confirms passion and possibilities for dance career

When I took my first ballet class at 11, I never imagined where it would take me. I never would’ve guessed that it would lead me to New York and Chicago. I never imagined that I’d meet historical dance figures like Arthur Mitchell, Debra Austin or Jillana. I never pictured that I could be one of those people who pursue dance professionally. When I took that first step into the studio, I was just curious to see what all the hype was about.

Three important things I learned while studying journalism in a border community

Unlike most journalism students, I began my journalism degree with no interest in the career. Sure, I loved writing – I always have, but I wasn’t even familiar with the process of writing a news article. You see, I’ve known that I wanted to be a book editor since I was 13 years old. No other job mixed my two biggest passions – reading and writing – like this one. So when the time came for me to choose a major in college, English and American Literature seemed like the logical route.

Photo Essay: Seeing the plus side of my less-than-unique El Paso neighborhood

Growing up on the East Side of El Paso, I always felt that my neighborhood was a bit bland. I saw the same high school, middle school, and elementary school everyday. I ate at the same fast food restaurants during my lunch breaks in high school. Grocery shopped at the same Walmart.  

Sure, I appreciated my neighborhood, but when I would go to the West Side or downtown, I felt envious of the people that lived there.

How I became a bridge for my international family during the pandemic border shutdown

Four years ago my family in Mexico supported my dream to come to El Paso for my college education in the United States. Little did we know that we would struggle with the burden of being separated by the pandemic when the U.S. and Mexico restricted travel across land border crossings to essential reasons. Visiting family was not among the essential reasons for crossing back and forth. Both my mom, Patricia, and my brother Christian are Mexican citizens. We were all born in México.

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


House fire complicated an already challenging year for college student

The COVID-19 pandemic, quarantine, online classes, isolation. UTEP students had a rough year and are looking forward to a fresh start.Previously anxious times have calmed down a bit and students have a handle on just how online classes work. They may be hoping for a smoother upcoming academic year. We know life can change on a dime and stress levels can rise once more, but for the most part it’s not a big deal anymore.I wish I could say the same.Like other students I felt the same pain of a rough year since the pandemic struck. I also wanted a fresh start and better days.

UTEP helped parents from Mexico attend our graduation, but pandemic border-crossing rules remain unfair

For the first time in more than a year my Mexican parents will able to cross the border from Ciudad Juárez using a special waiver to attend my commencement ceremony at University of Texas at El Paso. Since March 2020, crossing the border has been restricted to essential travel including crossing for work, medical or academic reasons in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19. Because of that, when UTEP graduating seniors got the news that in-person commencement was happening, I thought I would be alone at the ceremony, walking the stage at the Sun Bowl Stadium while my parents watched a live stream from their home in Juárez. I wrote a letter to University of Texas at El Paso President Heather Wilson in what I described as “a hopeful attempt to make my graduation a memorable one.”

In the emailed letter, I explained that my parents are both Mexican citizens living in Juárez, and because the border remains closed except for essential travel during the pandemic, they would not be able to attend my commencement ceremony. I understood, I told her, that she could not open the border to my parents, but that she did hold a position of authority and power that is unique when it comes to being the voice of UTEP students and amplifying their concerns.

How I learned to cope when my family was separated by border pandemic restrictions

Ciudad Juarez — Since March, the international border has been closed, only allowing essential travel for work, school and medical reasons during the pandemic. The virtual border shutdown has been extended by both the U.S. and Mexican governments each month through February according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The border closure meant my mother, who works in El Paso, had to move to the U.S. side of the border since she didn’t want to have to deal with long lines at the international bridge and the possibility of being turned back even though she was crossing for her job. My mother is in El Paso with my 11-year-old brother while I and my 19-year-old brother live in Juárez.

Our traditional cross-border Christmas celebration will be missed this year

“¡Ya llegué!” I wake up to the sound of Mamy’s voice early in the morning, it’s Christmas Day. I open my eyes groggily, still sleepy from Christmas Eve celebrations, I put on my holiday robe that I love and make my way to the kitchen. There are loud clanking noises and shuffling sounds coming from the kitchen, and I can already smell the deliciousness that my mom is stirring in a huge olla. I walk into the kitchen and I see my grandma who just crossed the border from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to my house in El Paso, Texas. We meet halfway and she gives me a tight hug.

Frank Hernandez – A short story of the COVID-19 pandemic in my life

As the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, I knew my life would dramatically change. I just didn’t know how much.Some professors were already talking about transitioning to online learning, some of my plans were starting to fall apart, and I found myself washing my hands at every chance I had.At first, things were not that bad – Spring Break had been extended for a week and my university decided to transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. As I live on the Mexican side and study and work in the U.S., this meant that I didn’t have to cross the border every day for the next two months a half – quite a relief.For the next weeks, my life was fairly tranquil. I had the time to read more than I normally do – something I was overly happy about.I was able to cook more often than I normally do, and generally had to improvise because going to the supermarket every time something was missing wasn’t really an option.I even started planting my own chiles.Though I knew things were not alright and people all around the world were suffering the devastating effects of this pandemic, I still found some comfort in cooking with my family on a Friday morning.It was until mid-April that the pandemic started affecting me negatively – or my plans to be precise. I had submitted a paper to a conference in Oneonta, New York, which was cancelled due to the outbreak in the state.

Why a truck driver keeps rolling despite pandemic challenges

By Exodis Ward, NMIndepth

As my Dad packed his bag for his next trip, we talked about how coronavirus had affected his work. A truck driver that keeps food on tables, toilet paper in bathrooms, and medicine on shelves, he has a crucial role in an economy battered by the coronavirus. When the pandemic first hit and panic buying cleared grocery shelves, there was a moment when the value of those who drive through the night to deliver important goods across the country came into national focus. But largely, it’s an unseen role. My pandemic experience has been vastly different than his as city ordinances advised me to stay home and only go out when necessary.

How white code talkers don’t see their own racism and go unchallenged

If you’re white and live outside of the urban centers where most protests have occurred since the murders of George Floyd and Ahmad Arbury, it’s a scene you’ve likely experienced any number of times. It speaks volumes about where we are as a country a half-century after Martin Luther King Jr. laid down his life to try to solve our enduring race problem – a uniquely American bog that today somehow encompasses both reasonable progress and no progress at all. It can happen almost anywhere, anytime. Months before the current crises, I was at a local restaurant’s bar when the talk turned to politics. The owner was carrying on about how much he loved President Trump’s tough talk about solving the homelessness problem, as if that problem hasn’t bedeviled America’s leaders for the past 50 years.

Victoria Almaguer – Taking coronavirus lifestyle changes day by day

During this pandemic, we have seen how businesses have been affected and the livedsof many have changed. Although there have been stressful times, this time of social distancing has helped me learn to take each day step-by-step. For me, this has been a time to adapt to unemployment, going to school online and cooking at home. Becoming a chefCooking has become such a stress reliever and it has become such a blessing for my family. Fast food was our main ritual, but now cooking at home feels more right and safe.

Surviving lockdown at home: How to avoid drama with your family

Being stuck in a house with five other people isolating together during the pandemic can be stressful. But there is a secret recipe for success. Here are six tips on how to keep harmony in your home. 1. Divide and conquer

There are six people living in my house, which means the house gets dirty every single second.

Gabriel Montellano – Thoughts on college graduation when there’s nowhere to go

Being a part of a college class graduating this spring semester is a surreal feeling. All of us who have worked so hard over the years to get to where we are today were looking forward to walking across the graduation stage with our diplomas. Then COVID-19 came. We went from being excited to walk out of our classroom building one last time knowing we didn’t have classes anymore to being at home looking at a screen and saying our goodbyes in video courses. What started as a warning to not go anywhere public and stay home to avoid the possible spread of coronavirus is now an obligation for those of us who don’t want to take the risk of getting sick and possibly spreading it to loved ones.

Growing up along with the rise of emojis and gifs

If there is one thing that I have noticed about my life, it is that language has been changing. Being part of a generation practically obsessed with social media has made me and millions of others aware that these platforms are no longer just about posting that perfect selfie or unfriending that one person because you feel petty. It has made me realize that online culture has influenced the way I, and most millennials, write. We are hooked on the screens of our computers, tablets and phones, which makes it inevitable that formal writing is just not a common thing anymore. There are new words and new meanings of old words – not to mention several ways to respond to someone online.

Keep these tips in mind when visiting your neighborhood bar

Working in a neighborhood bar can be a tough job. You work long shifts, always on your feet and on the go. You face customers who are at their best when they’re celebrating and at their worst when they’ve had way too much to drink. But, it can also be great job because you get to meet a lot of different people, which makes it fun and interesting. And, you can make good money in tips if you provide excellent customer service.

News media complicit in perpetuating micro aggressions that devalue Latinos, researchers say

Under this President, there has been a predictable rise in white nationalism, hate crimes, and the soul-crushing violence against Spanish-speaking immigrants and anyone who might sound or look like one. The August 3 attack on the people of our binational community of El Paso woke us up to the realization that legality or illegality was never the real issue; language and skin color was, as the black population in the U.S. has long known.  Many far more articulate and thick-skinned than I have dissected, addressed, and contextualized these sentiments and behaviors. I hope to use this space, instead, to address smaller, more hidden behaviors, invisible to most except to those who are targeted; behaviors that the media are not addressing, because they are either complacent or complicit.  These behaviors have been termed “microaggressions,” an expression first used in the 1970s by a psychiatrist, Dr. Chester Pierce, and defined by Columbia professor Deral Sue as:
“brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” 
Some examples of racial microaggressions include such phrases as “but where are you really from?” or “funny, you don’t sound like a _______.”  More examples can be found at the following website. https://sph.umn.edu/site/docs/hewg/microaggressions.pdf.  Even better, read Claudia Rankine’s prose/poetry book, Citizen. Linguistic anthropologist Jane Hill coined another term similar to microaggression as she turned her attention to the racialized use of Spanish by Anglos in Latinx communities in the Southwest: mock Spanish.  Web sites that examine mock Spanish and its influence include the following: https://www.kibin.com/essay-examples/the-prevalence-of-mock-spanish-in-the-american-media-zbbf20N7; https://www.latinorebels.com/2016/10/20/trump-relies-on-mock-spanish-to-talk-about-immigration-opinion/; https://languagesinconflict.wordpress.com/tag/mock-spanish/. 
My understanding of the term is that privileged white speakers can say and do small things that indicate superiority to or derision of minorities without being held accountable.  This behavior can be disguised as humor or ignorance or deemed to be irrelevant by the speaker.

5 anime shows not named Dragonball you should watch

Anime is a style of film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children. The Dragonball series is arguably the most popular of the genre today. The list below is for the anime novice that is interested in watching anime, but does not know where to begin. The order does not necessarily mean rank. 1.

La rica tradición de requesón en Jalisco

RANCHO ESCONDIDA, JALISCO — Una de las delicias más populares y exquisitas en México son los quesos. Existen cientos de tipos de queso que varían desde su consistencia hasta su sabor. Por ejemplo, hay desde el queso Oaxaca que es usado en quesadillas hasta el queso Panela que se sirve acompañado de nopales. En mi viaje a Rancho Escondida, Jalisco, note que uno de los quesos más famosos y más pedidos por la gente es el requesón. Esto me llamó mucho la atención y quise averiguar porqué es tan popular entre la población y el proceso de cómo es hecho este queso.

How comics conventions helped me embrace my geekdom IRL

I have been a geek since I was a kid. I love comic books, I love video games, I love superhero movies and I love dressing up like my favorite characters. I love being a geek. Although this lifestyle may seem odd to some people, it brings a lot of fun and joy to geeks like me and those around them. When I was young, I was criticized by many people for being a geek, but now I am encouraged to embrace the nerd within.

Through ‘Homecoming’ Beyoncé hits chords on cultural pride and her teachings reach new learners

I am Mexican-American – more Mexican than American if I’m being honest – living in a city where we don’t really experience racism because it has a predominantly Hispanic population. My culture tends to have a lot of machismo where women are seen as less than the man. So when I started following Beyonce’s work, I was woken up with topics I was unaware of related to racism, police brutality against Blacks, white privilege, and feminism.I’ve been a Beyonce fan since 2008. Through her work I have learned what being a feminist means and the history, the struggles and the pride of African-Americans. Although I would like to talk about all the ways she has inspired me, I’m only going to focus on her most recent piece of art.Beyonce debuted as a director and producer when her film Homecoming premiered on Netflix on April 17, 2019.

Putting the ‘her’ in hero: Why Hollywood needs superheroines

After 10 years and 20 films, Marvel Studios did the apparently unthinkable: released a woman-led superhero film. In the two months since its release, “Captain Marvel” has smashed box office expectations, raking in over $1 billion worldwide and having the third largest worldwide opening weekend ever for a superhero film behind “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
What has been even bigger though, is the debate the film has set off. Because apparently some people still feel that films highlighting women – especially in the superhero genre – are unnecessary. While many fans praise the much-needed representation and empowerment for young girls and women who are fans of Marvel that the film provided, some took issue with Marvel’s decision to place a woman hero at the forefront.The film was subject to a troll campaign, with some trying – and failing – to boycott the film in order to tank its box office numbers. Others organized a smear campaign on film aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, leaving negative reviews of the film before it was even released.

Adding characters of color into movies and TV shows without complexity is problematic

Today we are seeing a greater push for representation for people of color in movies and TV shows. Some like Black Panther portray dark skin black people in positive roles and others like the Charmed reboot showcase Afro-Latina women as lead characters. On the other hand, there are more shows that simply use people of color under the guise of representation, while utilizing them more like props than people. These forms of representation do more harm than good by sidelining characters or using them as comic relief. And even worse, in the case of a show like Netflix’ Siempra Bruja, the storytelling attempts to romanticize racism and slavery.