Roses and Thorns — Painter Gaspar Enriquez’ Students Are His Inspiration

EL PASO, Texas — Seeing no future in art, legendary El Paso artist Gaspar Enriquez abandoned the idea of pursuing an artistic career during his high school years. Little did he know where the potential of his talent would take him. “I liked art since I was a kid, but knew there was little or no pay in the field,” said Enriquez. Having grown up in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of Segundo Barrio, Enriquez found himself growing up at a faster rate than most teenage kids. Moving to East Los Angeles right after graduating from Bowie High School, Enriquez began working as a dishwasher, then at a defense plant lab, and eventually as a machinist as he continued working his way up until he graduated in 1970 from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a degree in Art Education.

Marchers Demand That Congress Reform Unfair Immigration Laws

EL PASO, Texas – Now that the historic health care reform bill has been pushed through Capitol Hill, hundreds of thousands of immigration reform supporters expect to see their comprehensive plan in the congressional forefront this year. “It’s been needed. It’s been needed for a while now,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of Border Network for Human Rights, who organized a march in El Paso, Texas. “We have people being separated. We have people being deported.

¡Andele! — the Latin Press Has 200 Years of History in the U.S.

EL PASO, Texas — The Latin press in the United States, currently one of the bright spots in the changing world of media in the Internet age, has been around for 202 years. From the moment the first press in the Americas started printing in México City during Spanish colonial times to the newspapers of the Mexican revolution, to the papers helping ease the transition of immigrant life in the U.S., the Latin press has always given a voice to those who could not speak or would not be heard. Dr. Felix Gutierrez told an audience a the University of Texas at El Paso, April 8, that for more than 200 years the Latin press has been pumping out news important to the immigrant and to the first generation Latinos looking for a way to fit in an Anglo world without losing their culture. Gutierrez, a Visiting Professor of Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Southern California, has co-authored five books and more than 50 articles in academic journals professional publications and books mostly focusing on media diversity. Gutierrez, who holds a PhD from Stanford University, showed a demo reel of a movie he is helping research entitled, Voices for Justice, a documentary chronicling the role the Spanish and bilingual press has played in certain movements in the Latin community here and abroad.

Ancient Traditions Refresh Aztec Pride

EL PASO ­ — Two elders lifted conch shells to their lips and bellows from these primal trumpets — primordial prayers aimed at the sky — signaled to a third man to kneel as smoky incense wafted from a clay cup in his left hand. The offering ceremony, repeated three times as the heuy tecuhtlis, or elder leaders, paid tribute to mother earth in a rite that has been performed for thousands of years, long before European settlers set foot in the new world. This is how the Danza Azteca, or Aztec Dance, began at the Mercado Mayapan, a local marketplace and community center. “The dances that we do are thousands of years old. They’ve been passed down from generation to generation,” said Ramón Arroyos, 60.

The Valley’s Confused Souls — A teen confronts cultural borderlines

EDINBURG, Tex. — Has a stranger ever come up to you and asked you if you were a freak? As you can probably guess, it’s happened to me. As a naïve 8th grader, I didn’t know what to make of a question like that. Two months earlier I had relocated from Topeka, Kansas to Hidalgo, Texas; a really big change at a difficult time in a child’s life.

Life Lessons From my Mexican Mom

EDINBURG, Tex. — My mom is very close minded. I don’t know where she got it from but I’m more than sure she passed it on to me. I can’t imagine same-sex marriages are happening. I know that’s something that might sound arrogant to some but to me, it’s who I am.

Mexicanos, Viva Mexico

El PASO — The aroma of churros filled the air at San Jacinto Plaza along with the mariachis blasting away at their tunes and then el grito, “Mexicanos, viva Mexico!” rang out. Hundreds of El Paso citizens gathered at the downtown plaza, September 15, for “Viva Mexico!” the 199th Anniversary to celebrate the anniversary of independence of Mexico from Spain in 1810. “Just being here reminds me of how far we’ve come since that day and the struggle they must’ve gone through for us, it makes me extremely humble yet full of pride,” said Alejandra Acosta, an El Paso resident who attended the celebration. Mexican Independence Day celebrates the events leading up to the day in which after centuries of oppression, Mexico or New Spain as it was then called, won its freedom from Spain.

UTEP features alumnus Alfredo Corchado

EL PASO — Alfredo Corchado’s fellow alumni, family and friends, gathered at University of Texas at El Paso recently to listen the award-winning Mexico Bureau Chief of the Dallas Morning News and this year’s Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Since his graduation from UTEP in 1987, Corchado has focused his writing on border issues and he continues to mentor and inspire young journalists who show a similar passion for investigative reporting. His family has supported his hard work and dedication and benefited from his example, said Linda Corchado, Alfredo’s youngest sibling, a Swarthmore graduate. “I’m very proud of my brother. He really opened up the world to me and made it accessible.