Ice rinks top attractions in desert holiday outings

Ice skating and festive lights mark the start of the holiday season in El Paso in two popular locations. WinterFest is an ongoing event in the Downtown Arts Festival Plaza and surrounding areas featuring lights, food, holiday shopping, festivities and  an new outdoor ice skating rink located near the Plaza Theatre. “As San Jacinto Plaza once again lights up for the winter season, we wanted to enhance the downtown visitor’s experience and create a new holiday tradition,” said Bryan Crowe, General Manager of Destination El Paso. WinterFest runs until Jan. 8.

The Salvation Army at El Paso. (Lucia Quinonez/

The need for the holiday giving spirit is alive all year long

EL PASO – This border city is well known for being charitable, especially when the holidays roll around, but El Paso has been hit hard by the weakened national economy, which means that community volunteering and donations are on a decline even though there is a greater need than ever. Nonprofit organizations such as the West Texas Food Bank, the Rescue Mission of El Paso and the Salvation Army need plenty of donations and volunteers year round, not only during the holiday season. Nick Maskill, a driver at the Rescue Mission of El Paso told Borderzine that many people donate during the holidays. “Everybody wants to give to somebody,” he said. Yet at other times, these nonprofit organizations have a hard time keeping up with the need in this growing city.

The winter holidays have been packed with meaning, weighted down with lots of luggage. (Lourdes Cueva Chacón/

The presents we already have

Teaching and Learning and Caring Blog

EL PASO – Can any holiday measure up to our expectations of it?  As in any city, our appreciation of it probably depends on which streets we travel, what we do there, and with whom. Holidays come in all sorts of packages, some so large we cannot avoid, like the proverbial elephant in the room, and some so small we barely notice they have come and gone. Holidays emerge from some collective sense about the specialness of an event and a belief that it ought to be remembered, honored. These events emerge primarily out of religious traditions (Easter, Passover, Ramadan), nationalism (4th of July, President’s Day), and the recognition of relationships (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day). Among certain population groups, celestial events are also celebrated, such as the Chinese Moon Festival.