Seeing El Paso for the first time through the windows of the El Paso Streetcar

I’ve lived in El Paso all 21 years of my life. I’ve been to almost every part of town that I can think of. As I’ve gotten older, I grown to love El Paso and appreciate the city’s history and where it’s going. But after riding the El Paso Streetcar for the very first time, I felt like I was seeing the city for the very first time. After what seemed like a never-ending construction headache followed by traffic nightmares, the $97 million El Paso Streetcar Project was officially launched in early November.

Cinco ‘Expectativas’ cumplidas por Enrique Bunbury en su último disco

En noviembre, mi cantautor preferido Enrique Bunbury se hizo acreedor a un Grammy Latino en la categoría Mejor Álbum de Rock con “Expectativas”, disco que publicó en octubre de 2017. Como este espacio es reducido, describiré en cinco puntos por que creo que este disco es justo ganador de dicho reconocimiento. Lleno de romanticismo español puro

La música de Bunbury ha sido para mí un reflejo de varias épocas de la literatura. La letra de sus canciones está llena de metáforas con significados abiertos a la interpretación de la audiencia, algo muy característico del romanticismo literario. Él hace uso de ésto para mandar diferentes mensajes al mundo, desde dedicarle palabras a un amor, hasta criticar a la política y a los aspectos débiles de la sociedad.

Borderzine turns 10, and the beat goes on

This year is marked by a major NewsMatch fundraising campaign to expand student journalist training, launch of a cross-border community engagement project; and expanded reporting about the borderlands. A 10th anniversary celebration showcase of student photography Nov. 19, 5:30-7 p.m. at UTEP’s Centennial Museum. Please join us. Dear friends, queridos amigos,
As this year of polarizing, fear-mongering political discourse about the border comes to a close, I bring you good news about Borderzine, the online magazine we launched a decade ago to prepare new generations of bicultural news professionals and ramp up coverage of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Double identity: Beauty apps make it too easy to change your reality online

Bigger eyes, smaller nose and even a breast enhancement are available through several beauty apps South Koreans are routinely using to modify their virtual appearance. I tried it myself when I was living in Seoul, South Korea, while studying abroad and got hooked. To this day, I still use the apps. Editing your digital image is so easy to do through the apps that many in the younger generation in South Korea expect everyone to tweak their looks. “Editing is so common that you seem to be a rebel without any edit done your looks,” said one app fan, SeungHae Ro.

Common visual aids found in a Dual Language classroom. (Lucía Murguía/

Being monolingual in a multilingual society limits opportunities, but don’t give up

Noam Chomsky, an American linguist once said, “I’m about as monolingual as you come, but nevertheless, I have a variety of different languages at my command, different styles, different ways of talking, which do involve different parameter settings.” Though powerful, this quote only speaks to me on a visual level. Growing up living in El Paso all my life, I’ve learned that being monolingual comes with many issues down the road. In El Paso, it’s not mandatory to know Spanish to get a job or be included but it’s highly recommended. Hispanic students at UTEP make up 77 percent of the school’s population.

A drug war on both sides of the border

“Abajo! Rapido!” My dance teacher shouted on a Wednesday afternoon. I was 14. “Hide! Fast!” In the middle of warm-up, a firework-like-sound brought everyone in Ms. Rosa’s hiphop
class to a standstill.

Divided by walls, in government we still trust

During his campaign, candidate Donald J. Trump talked about a big, beautiful wall, murders and rapists coming across the border from Mexico and promised to secure the nation’s southern border. Now, as president, Trump has ordered states to deploy 1,000 members of the National Guard along the Rio Grande, as well as guardsmen along the Mexican border in California, Arizona and New Mexico. As a native of El Paso, and familiar with much of the border and its people, employing guardsmen is a good idea for our border. This will only help strengthen our border security. For many years our city has been accustomed to seeing border patrol agents monitor our city.

How studying journalism helped my business career

When starting college we have one goal, and that is to graduate. We all dream of the day we walk across the stage with our name being called and feeling that satisfaction of “I did it!” I went into the field of business marketing because I have always wanted to own my own business and knew that marketing knowledge is a huge asset for any business. Unfortunately, I found the classes I took in math and accounting to be dry and I couldn’t relate to them. When I saw that more were required for the degree, I ran away as fast as I could!

A siete meses de la destrucción del huracán María, los puertorriqueños sienten su ciudadanía a medias

El año pasado nuestra isla del encanto, caracterizada por sus montañas vestidas de verde, su cielo azul y sus hermosas playas, se convirtió en lugar de escombros luego del paso del huracán María. María me enseñó que los huracanes no solo poseen la fuerza para arrasar ceibas y arrancar techos, sino que también tienen el poder de desenmascarar narrativas como las que he venido escuchando de mis colegas no-puertorriqueños aquí en los Estados Unidos. Narrativas que, al igual que el huracán María, han logrado exponer las raíces de un problema que lleva toda una vida presente en el territorio puertorriqueño. “But, Puerto Ricans are American citizens”, han repetido hasta el cansancio. Lo he oído tanto o quizá más que la canción “Despacito” cuando pegó en la radio el año pasado. Mientras muchos en la isla siguen en la oscuridad, del mismo modo le sigue tomando meses a mis colegas en comprender el significado de esa situación. Son mis colegas periodistas los que en realidad continúan a oscuras, sin entender las ramificaciones que tiene esta frase.

¿Me caso y me quedo? El dilema de Berta

En silencio nos sentamos en el muelle mientras el sol nos azotaba, el viento nos volaba el cabello en la cara mientras los turistas se tomaban, ningún reparo, sus selfies teniendo de fondo a la costa de California. El álgido tema de la conversación que yo y mi mejor amiga Berta* manteníamos nos hundió en la nostalgia, mientras contemplábamos la incertidumbre del futuro. “No sé qué va a pasar”, dijo Berta. “Pero voy a resolverlo, siempre lo hago”. Berta es una estudiante auspiciada por DACA.

7 things that change when you become pregnant as an undergrad

There are so many things that change when you go from being a regular student with two jobs, a social life and family life, to being a pregnant student with two jobs, a social life and family life. I would have never expected this to happen to me in my last semester of college but here I am, 32 weeks into my pregnancy and three weeks from graduation. Here are just a few things that change when you try to juggle pregnancy and college. 1. Fatigue

You think you’re a tired college student before you get pregnant?


What you need to do before graduating from college

College graduation is right around the corner. Right about now, graduating seniors like myself are either excited to start a new chapter in their life or scared of what life is bringing next but nonetheless it should be something to look forward to.  

Finding a job is at the top of the list for many students when thinking abut graduation, so it is definitely one of the most important things. However, there are other things that soon-to-be graduates should do professionally and things to simply enjoy in the final weeks. So before you head out, here are five things to do before graduating:

1) Make connections and land a job


Start reaching out.

The wisdom of my decision to cross el puente to study journalism in El Paso, an often deadly profession south of the border

I’m originally from Ciudad Juarez and like many others from my Mexican border city, I decided to study communication at UTEP in El Paso to become a journalist. Making the decision to become a journalist was tough. I had to deal with the displeasure of my family and friends over my choice of a demanding career that often provides minimal pay, long hours and can be deadly in Mexico. As many readers from the borderland already know, Ciudad Juarez and Mexico are not places where you would want to work as a hard-hitting journalist. Six Mexican journalists were killed in 2017, the highest number of journalists killed in a country after Iraq and Syria.

How I learned to respect my family’s belief in Santeria

As an 8-year-old child growing up in El Paso, I would frequently attend colorful family backyard barbeques that featured a small room lined with a row of chairs facing a table laid out with tiny cups and unusual statues of saints and Afro-Cuban dieties. In addition to enjoying the traditional barbeque food like hamburgers and hotdogs, my grandparents also served spicy black beans and rice, a dish they had learned to make when they visited Cuba some years ago. Confused by the strange rituals I witnessed at these every-other-week family cookouts, which were far different from what I experienced at the Catholic church I attended with my parents on Sundays, I tended to keep my distance from the adults and instead spent my time running around the yard playing with my cousins. I didn’t pay much attention to why, at the family reunions, my grandparents and other relatives chanted in an unfamiliar language and dressed all in white. As a young Catholic, Mexican-American boy growing up in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, all I understood was that the unfamiliar rituals were strange and foreign.

Bright lights, big cities. El Paso/Cd. Juárez in the early evening from Tom Lea Park. (Cheryl Howard/

El Paso, you’ve been a lifesaver

In 2013, I found myself lost, confused and experiencing the normal growing pains of a 19-year-old trying to find her way. After a not-so-brilliant move to Los Angeles with a friend, I was soon out of money, with no job or place to live after a falling out with said friend. I felt betrayed and disappointed by the realities of “real life.”  Not wanting to return to my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, I called my father. He was living in El Paso at the time, and having visited the city once, I thought maybe this could be a place where I could manage to get back on my feet.

What your service worker wants you to know is really annoying

Customers sometimes make service workers angry by intentionally or non-intentionally doing one of the following pet peeves in their job. Are you one of these people? As a consumer, you might be doing one of these annoying things that make workers cringe without you realizing it. 1. MONEY ON THE COUNTER

Most cashiers find people who place the money on the counter instead of handing it in as extremely rude.

Grandmother’s death brings lesson in living

The day my grandmother died I wasn’t sad. There was a sense of relief. After seeing my 84-year-old grandmother suffer through months of kidney failure in hospice I knew her death would bring her peace. And although hard to deal with, I knew I’d be fine as well. The beginning of the end

Two years ago my grandmother was hospitalized with a bowel obstruction and told she was in kidney failure.

No, I do not need my shoulders rubbed in the workplace

Over the past few months since The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein, women have begun coming out in droves to speak out about sexual assault they have endured. And, ever so slowly, men in powerful positions in Hollywood, the media, politics and television that may have long gotten away with #NSFW behavior for decades are now finally paying a heavy price. This includes Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, former President George H. W. Bush, popular comedian Louis C.K., talk show host Charlie Rose and Republican political figure Roy Moore. They and others are among the ever-growing list of powerful figures facing allegations that range from inappropriate behavior to sexual misconduct to rape. Former NBC Today Host Matt Lauer, radio personality Garrison Keillor, and music producer Russell Simmons are the most recent to bite the dust, and their spectacular falls came less than 24 hours of each other.

How I worked my way through anxiety

In mid-August of 2014 with a new semester just around the corner, everything was going according to plan. During a beautiful afternoon on Aug. 14, my father, brother and I were all waiting for mom to come home to make plans and have dinner. Mom walked in at around 20 minutes after 6 p.m., said hello and closed the window next to the sofa where I sat texting. I was unaware of what was coming my way.

Light Projection – A new virtual experience in Roman museums, sites

By Rachel Gonzalez

Rome is a cultural mecca with museums and sites at every turn. Tourists and scholars have flocked there for many years learning from its history and trying to decipher the clues left behind that tell the story of the past. Today light projection act as a visual aid for visitors by creating a kind of virtual window into the past. It may seem that places like the Forum of Augustus and especially the Colosseum are in no need of modern technology to get people interested, but these technologies are not to bring people through the door, they are there to enhance the experience of those who visit and give them a bright new angle of view. Three Roman locations in which light projection has made a debut are the Roman House (le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini), the Forum of Augustus and the Colosseum.

The Pantheon – An illuminating experience  

By Matthew P. Gonzales

The Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain persuade many to visit Rome. Personally, these were not sites I was very interested in seeing. I was part of the Layers of Rome study abroad course visiting Rome, Italy.  On a bright sunny day, our class went out to look at a monument that is one of the last remaining buildings from the Roman Empire dating back to the 2nd century, the Pantheon. The word Pantheon means a temple dedicated to all the gods.

Exploring Rome, a city filled with wonder that captures your heart

We landed and exited the plane and I couldn’t believe I was here. I was the first person in my family to travel to Italy; the airport was packed with people. I heard so many different languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French and a language I thought was Russian or maybe German. The passport officer, looked me up and down opened my passport and stamped it: Roma- Italia- Fiumicino- EU: 23/05/17. I still couldn’t believe it, I was in another country, I was 6,000 miles away from home.

Italy and my encounter with the issues of bilingualism

By Crystal Calderon

Growing up in a bilingual environment meant I was fortunate to have the opportunity  to learn at least two languages. I grew up in the border city of El Paso TX., right next to Juarez Chihuahua MX. I was fortunate enough to grow up bilingual. Unlike most US citizens who are monolingual, my background enabled me to feel more  natural when in Rome. This past summer I traveled to Italy as part of the Layers of Rome study abroad course hosted by the  Humanities Program of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Six ways to prepare for an audio internship

As El Paso native Khalid becomes more and more famous, interest in becoming an artist or recording the next superstar is rising. I cannot tell you how to become the next Khalid, but if you want to become an audio engineer (the person that pushes all the buttons and records the artist), as an audio engineering graduate and former intern, I can give you several tips on how to get started. 

1. Get educated

The first step to acquiring an internship is getting an education in audio engineering. Most studios (especially the more well-known studios) require some sort of formal education from an accredited college or technical school before even looking at an applicant. Depending on who you know, you might be able to get away with not going to school, but knowledge and skills are still required to be successful.

Mexicano, Chicano, or Pocho. Who am I?

I didn’t start to question my identity until my first year of college. Before that I thought I was an American citizen attending kindergarten in Ciudad Juarez. Then in third grade I realized that I was Mexican when I crossed the border to attend Houston Elementary School in El Paso. The first day of school a classmate asked me in Spanish – not English – why I was wearing black polished shoes. I remember I looked around and saw that all the other boys and girls were wearing sporty tennis shoes.

Borderland DREAMer fights on for rights of immigrants to stay as March deadline looms

As a Communication student at UTEP, I had the opportunity this year to do an internship at the non-profit Columban Mission Center in El Paso. During my four months there, I had countless opportunities to interview pastors, refugees, travelers, and students from other universities, publish an article on the organization’s web site, and the chance to work alongside members of our branch in Washington D.C. The purpose of the Columban Mission Center is to help urge Congress to pass the Dream Act before the end of the year. Although I enjoyed the work and accompanying tasks, what inspired me most was the chance to interview DACA recipient Claudia Yoli and capture in words her compelling story.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, is a program approved by former President Barak Obama in 2012, and allows young eligible immigrants to obtain a work permit and grants them protection from deportation. The program expires March 5 of next year and current President Donald Trump, who does not support the program, has left it to Congress to let the program expire or pass legislative protections for the recipients.

Five ways to help single, broken-hearted friends during the holidays

I remember hugging my best friend Nancy (names have been changed to prevent public humiliation) as she weeped in my arms over Brad for the third time in two months. “I thought we were good this time!” she said, wiping her nose on the sleeve of my new sweater. Nancy and Brad had been an on-again/off-again couple since high school senior year. Since then, we joined a Greek organization in college that put tension on their relationship, which ultimately led to their pre-holiday breakup in the fall of 2016.

How a foreign student taught me not to feel like an outsider in my own city

I don’t consider myself a social person, especially while I’m in college. I get too focused on school work, and usually meet new people if they are the first ones to come up and talk to me. I was also was self-conscious about people judging me for my English skills. Even though I was born in El Paso, I lived in Juarez, Mexico until fifth grade. And like a lot of others who live on the border, I sometimes felt like I was in an awkward limbo between cultures.

Mexican or American or what? Straddling the border can make it hard to bring identity into focus

As a child of the U.S., Mexico border, I’ve recently found myself lost between languages, cultures and racial terms like Latino, Hispanic and Mexican-American. Do I know who I am and where I belong to? No. Many children born in the U.S. whose parents were born in other countries grow up with the opportunity of learning two languages and the history of two countries—but at what cost does this come with? A couple of weeks after I was born in Denver my mother brought me to her hometown of Ciudad Juarez Mexico, where I would spend the first seven years of my life.