Some Ciudad Juárez residents happy for chance to be vaccinated against COVID in El Paso

American residents and citizens who live in Ciudad Juárez are taking advantage of their status to cross to the United States and be vaccinated. But the health authorities in El Paso are not keeping records of people from Ciudad Juárez who have benefitted from this.

Health authorities in the Mexican state of Chihuahua said it is hard to determine the exact number of residents in Ciudad Juárez who have been vaccinated in El Paso since a large percentage of the population has dual nationality, Mexican and American.

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.

UTEP students eager to celebrate graduation in person after year of pandemic

After more than a year of remote classes and cancelled graduation ceremonies, students at the University of Texas at El Paso are excited about commencement. At the end of March 2021, students got the news UTEP would have an in-person ceremony for graduates of the class of 2020 and the class of 2021 at the Sun Bowl Stadium on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15. The Friday ceremony recognizes bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral graduates and candidates in the colleges of business administration, education and liberal arts. The Saturday ceremony honors graduates and candidates in the colleges of engineering, health sciences and science, and the schools of nursing and pharmacy,” according to the announcement from UTEP Communications. Many of those who will take part in commencement are the first in their families to graduate from a university.

How one U.S.-based Mexican crafts small business is trying to adapt to supply issues amid the pandemic

Dianna Williams-Hefley grew up with one foot on each side of the border. She spent her early years living in the United States, but due to job opportunities for her parents who were teachers, her family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. That’s where she went to high school. Williams-Hefley recalls being mesmorized by the art culture she experienced while living in Mexico. Enchanted by the vibrant colors of folk art and the traditional methods used in each handcrafted piece, Williams-Hefley’s appreciation for Mexican artisan work stayed with her even after returning to the U.S.

“I was always trying to figure out someway to get back to Mexico,” Williams-Hefley said.

Vendedores de El Bronco Swap Meet y Ascarate Flea Market tratan de sobrevivir la pandemia y la crisis económica

Dos de los mercados más populares en El Paso tratan de mantenerse a flote durante la pandemia.

Las puertas de El Bronco Swap Meet se encuentran cerradas y vendedores esperan la noticia por parte de los dueños de cuando podrán volver a operar. Por otro lado, Ascarate Flea Market abrió de nuevo después de dos meses de no operar al inicio de la pandemia.

Binational news collaboration launches to explore important issues for El Paso-Juárez

A unique binational news collaboration will begin publishing stories this week about significant issues facing El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. The partnership, called Puente News Collaborative, will begin with a two-week series of stories that look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our region. This month is the first anniversary of the arrival of COVID-19 in our region, as well as the resulting restrictions on border crossings that disrupted life in our region. The Puente News Collaborative includes news organizations from both sides of the border: La Verdad in Ciudad Juárez; and ABC 7, El Paso Inc., El Paso Matters, El Paso Times, Univision 26, KTEP public radio and Borderzine as part of the UTEP multimedia journalism program in El Paso. The collaboration is made possible by financial support from Microsoft as part of its efforts to preserve and protect journalism and local newsrooms. In December, partners in the collaboration shared an El Paso Times story about the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program that was published in both English and Spanish.

Canceled church bazaar season disappoints gordita fans, disrupts vital parish fundraising in El Paso

Normally around this time of year, the church kermes or bazaar season would just be wrapping up in El Paso. Every year, many Catholic churches hold huge, weekend-long fundraisers. They are a tradition in the borderland – large, carnival-like gatherings complete with live music, family games like loteria, and some of the best Mexican food you can find. Think gorditas and elotes. Churches usually do most of their fundraising for the year at these bazaars.

Culture Shift: Looking at Identity in the Borderland Bubble

In this episode of Our Border Life we talk about those moments when people realize they’re in a culture shift – that something fundamentally has changed about their identity. Specifically, the growing awareness of the multi-layered identities among people living in the U.S-Mexico borderland region of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. https://soundcloud.com/borderzine-reporting-across-fronteras/looking-at-identity-through-the-borderland-bubble

We meet with Gustavo Reveles, who was born in El Paso and spent the first 15 years of his life living on both sides of the border. In a conversation with a friend, Martin Bartlett, Reveles talks about how he didn’t realize he lived in a culture bubble until he moved away for a job after college.  

 

“You grew up thinking you’re both Mexican and American.

Married for 51 years, photos capture loneliness of the pandemic for couple living just a few feet apart

Ana Maria, 74, and Jose Becerra, 80, are a high-risk couple living in El Paso. The two have illnesses that weaken their immune system and make them fearful of contracting COVID-19. After a recent surgery Ana Maria Becerra, who is my grandmother, socially distanced herself in her home to protect my grandfather from anything she may have contracted during her time at the hospital. This photo essay captures moments of their lives on a recent Saturday, nearly at the end of the two week at-home social distancing period. Married for 51 years, they struggled to stay six feet apart, manage day-to-day tasks and outwait the loneliness.

Restaurant wall painting of Puerto Rico inspired images

What El Pasoans need to know about Puerto Ricans

El Paso is dominated by residents of Mexican descent, so other Latino groups aren’t always reflected in the mainstream culture of the city. In this video, Borderzine reporter Michelle Rosado breaks down the differences and similarities of Mexican and Puerto Rican cultures in the borderland. https://youtu.be/mZSwbETnghQ

 

Ruidoso’s peak season a bust as tourism from Mexico, Texas collapses over coronavirus

RUIDOSO, NM — In this town where tourism is one of the biggest sectors of its economy, not having visitors can become a real problem. Ruidoso has experienced a huge drop in tourism because of COVID-19 concerns beginning with spring break, one of the village’s busiest times of year after the winter season. We actually haven’t been seeing a lot of tourism at all,” said Juan Sosa, a sales clerk at clothing store Parts Unknown in mid-March. That’s when the casinos, racetrack and ski resort saw a drop off in visitors before they closed down completely. “It’s affected the town as far as tourism quite a lot,” Sosa said.

Census form and mailbox

Fear may keep undocumented immigrants out of 2020 census, hurt communities

By Mary Lehman Held, University of Tennessee

The United States might not be able to get information about more than 10 million people in the 2020 census. That’s the number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Another 16.7 million individuals live in a household with an undocumented member and so might also not be counted in this year’s census. The primary reason that undocumented immigrants might forego participation in the 2020 census? Fear.

All Latinos don’t vote the same way – their place of origin matters

By Eliza Willis, Grinnell College and Janet A. Seiz, Grinnell College

Joe Biden won Florida’s 2020 Democratic primary, capturing a majority of the state’s Latino voters. Polls have been tracking the Latino vote in Democratic presidential primaries, and many analysts are trying to predict which candidate Latinos might favor in November. Interest in Florida has been especially strong. Observers commonly speak of “the Latino vote” as if Latinos make up a distinct and unified interest group. This both overstates and understates Latinos’ uniqueness.

Children of color already make up the majority of kids in many US states

By Rogelio Sáenz, The University of Texas at San Antonio and Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University

Demographers project that whites will become a minority in the U.S. in around 2045, dropping below 50% of the population. That’s a quarter-century from now – still a long way away, right? Not if you focus on children. White children right now are on the eve of becoming a numerical minority. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that, by the middle of 2020, nonwhites will account for the majority of the nation’s 74 million children.

Fort Bliss soldiers share their thoughts on living in El Paso

EL PASO – Life in the military brings soldiers to duty stations across the U.S and overseas. For many, it is easy to picture being stationed in places like Hawaii or Colorado. But, when it comes to a posting at Fort Bliss in this West Texas city on the U.S., Mexico border, some soldiers didn’t know what to expect. “All I really knew of it was what I heard from old tales of the wild, wild west,” said New Jersey National Guard, Staff Sgt. Brandon Glaser, who came to El Paso from Chicago in 2012.

Cross-border home ownership rate reflects El Paso, Juarez binational community dynamic

About one in every six El Pasoans say they own homes in both Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, according to a recent survey. The Border Perception Survey asked border residents about topics ranging from education and health to the security and environment. The survey, a collaboration between the El Paso Community Foundation and Fundación Comunitaria Frontera Norte as part of an initiative called Building Broader Communities in the Americas, was conducted between August and September of 2018 and included 896 El Pasoans and 1,535 Juarez residents. “The surprising thing was such a large number of people who actually are dual citizens, or are citizens of one side of the other but have homes on the other side of the border. And so that was an impressive finding,” said one of the researchers on the project, Josiah Heyman, director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies and professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso.