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Samalayuca residents delay Copper Mine opening, continue protests to preserve farms and famous dune fields

8 hours 6 min ago

SAMALAYUCA, MEXICO — Residents of this small farming town in northern Mexico petitioning authorities to stop a copper mine from opening have managed to temporarily halt the project.

They started protesting last August after the Canadian mining corporation VVC Exploration announced plans to open the mine ‘La Gloria’ in the Samalayuca desert.

A district judge on March 5th ordered the suspension of the mining project for at least five months, according to a report from El Diario de Juarez newspaper.

But opponents know the fight is far from over in Samalayuca, a small agricultural town in Chihuahua about 35 miles south of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border.

Residents and environmental activists protesting the mine are supported through various organizations including Frente Eco-Social Paso del Norte, Frente Ciudadano Contra la Mina, and Para Que No Nos Mine la Mina.

Samalayuca is home to about 1,126 residents and many are concerned the mine threatens their health and way of life.

“Samalayuca is agricultural, it is not a mining town, and the mine will generate contamination affecting our children in the future,” said Ramiro Herrera, a landowner, resident and farmer from the area.

His family has owned land in Samalayuca for generations. He was among residents and other mine opponents who staged a demonstration during a visit by Mexico’s president in January.

“We’ve been protesting. When the president came to Juarez, we protested, and he said there won’t be a mine,” Herrera said.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that nothing will proceed without support of the people. Local political leaders with the president’s party MORENA have sided with opponents of the mine.

“All mines contaminate, and more so this one which will have an open-pit. We’re joining forces so that this mine never opens. We are speaking with the corresponding authorities as government representatives, and at the moment they’re supporting us to stop the opening,” said MORENA Municipal Executive Committee Coordinator Luz Elia Marín Renteria.

Economic benefits debated

Marín Renteria claims that a majority of residents oppose the mine, but clarified that there is still some disagreement among landowners who are renting their land to the mining company.

There is also strong support for the from Javier Melendez Cardona, presidente seccional of Samalayuca, the equivalent of a mayor.

Melendez Cardona, has repeatedly said that the mine represents a $4 Billion investment that will generate taxes that can be used to improve education and medical infrastructure in the small town.

In 2019, Melendez said that the mine would help reduce unemployment in Samalayuca which he estimated was at 63 percent at the time, according to an interview with El Norte, a digital news source in Ciudad Juarez.

Some residents dispute that claim. “Samalayuca doesn’t need a mine. Here, whoever doesn’t work it’s because they don’t want to, whether they’re men or women,” resident Aída Sapien said.

“I’ve always been in favor of small town development but if there’s a negative impact to us or to the children, who will really suffer the consequences? I think it shouldn’t be done,” said Celso Rodriguez Flores, a resident from Samalayuca, about the mine.

Oswaldo Alvarado, a landowner in the area said he was completely against the project mainly because of its impact on the environment, local economy and the stability of the town.

“Those who support it say there will be a lot of employment, but with it there will also be a social breakdown. Currently we have a really calm town without crime. But what happens when a lot of outsiders start coming to a small town? There will be a social breakdown, there will be assaults,” Alvarado said.

In response to the environmental concerns, local officials have said there will be certain environmental protections, according to several local news reports in August when the company announced it was planning to mine copper in the area:

  • The banning of cyanide
  • A requirement for recycling contaminated water
  • A provision that will allow the company to mine only 4 percent of the land’s surface
  • The condition that two sites will not be open at the same time

Another concern is that the local agricultural economy will suffer because much of the produce that farmers in the area currently sell and export to the US will no longer be purchased due to possible contamination, according to Alvarado.

“There will be an impact on crop production,” Alvarado said. He said farmers grow tomatoes and squash. “There are already people exporting to the United States, but they already said that if the mine opens they will stop buying produce from Samalayuca,” Alvarado said referring to US produce buyers.

Rene Cereceres, another resident was torn about whether to support or oppose the mine. “The benefits are in the economy, the job opportunities for the people here in the town and well, yes the economy will improve. On the negative side, there’s the contamination, the crowds of people in the town, and the increase in crime,” Cereceres said.

During the 16th of September, Independence Day Parade in nearby Ciudad Juarez, activists and residents staged a protest directing their complaints to Ciudad Juarez mayor Armando Cabada Alvidrez.

That same month, the company announced it had received Environmental and Land Use Change Permits to operate the mine, according to VVC.

“VVC is aggressively seeking to convert its near production copper project, Samalayuca, to pilot, then full, production,” according to a press release posted on the company website.

Changing Natural Protected Area status

The acres of white sands of the region earned Samalayuca ‘natural protected area’ status by presidential decree in 2009 to conserve the regional “flora and fauna” as well as the territory of the sand dunes, according to the Official Journal of the Federation, which is similar to the Federal Register in the United States.

Just five years later, landowners from the territory of ‘El Ojo de la Casa’, where the mine is planned, started filing appeals to reverse the protected status of the Samalayuca region.

The governor of Chihuahua in 2015 praised amendments to the Natural Protected Area Plan to allow mining copper, gold and silver in Samalayuca.

“Thanks to the efforts and agreements with the federal government, the protected natural area is in the process of being changed, which will benefit the region (Samalayuca),” said Governor of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte Jaquez, according to VVC.

By 2017, the company had begun exploration and extraction of copper from the area for material testing. This happened briefly after they had received their first drilling permit, according to VVC’s website.

Last fall the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez organized a public forum to discuss the environmental, economic and socio-cultural impact of the mine. Representatives from VVC were invited to participate. The mining company declined to send a representative to the forum where residents, academics, activists, and several government officials from the local, state and federal level discussed the planned mine.

 

A new era of mining

 

The copper extraction project is owned by Samalayuca Cobre S.A. de C.V. VVC Exploration has a 33.75% stake in the company according to the company’s website. Orford Resources Ltd., another Ontario-based mining company focused on exploration in Northern Quebec owns 28%, Firex S.A. de C.V., a Mexican company based in San Luis Potosi, owns 25% and Inversiones Agrofinancieras de Panamá, a Panama-based mineral explorer company, owns 13%, according to company’s records in Business News Americas, a business consulting services company.

Firex was at the center of a controversy in Zacatecas in 2014, when the company didn’t pay 15 months of rent, worth $120,000 for the administration of a project in the central Mexican state, and laid off at least 50 employees, according to a report from La Jornada that year.

VVC Exploration did not respond to repeated requests from Borderzine for comment via email and phone.

Copper production has been in the center of controversy in the Paso del Norte region for decades. In the 1950’s copper was extracted from the Samalayuca desert area in an “artisanal mining” project and transported to El Paso to be processed at the ASARCO Smelter, according to the VVC’s website.

Asarco has a history of contamination. In December 8, 1973, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a document linking the ASARCO smelter in El Paso to lead absorption by residents on both sides of the border.

Asarco suspended operations in El Paso in 1999, and on April 13, 2013, the plant, including its iconic smoke stack towering over the border, was demolished.

As this new era of mining in the borderland region begins, residents on both sides of the border are worried about the impact on their health and the environment.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Local Blogs

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

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 12:18pm

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.

Fear of being found by immigration enforcement authorities. Fear of being detained to face a deportation hearing. And, ultimately, fear of being deported.

If data is missing from the 2020 census, that will harm national and community planning efforts.

Fear of deportation

The fear of being deported to one’s home country extends well beyond wanting to remain in the United States to simply have a better life.

A large proportion of recently arrived undocumented immigrants are from the northern triangle regions of Central America that include El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Though approximately 1.2 million Mexican immigrants in the U.S. returned to their home nation between 2010 and 2018, an estimated 265,000 Central Americans are fleeing annually to the United States, due to extreme violence and high murder rates.

There are 4.1 million U.S. citizen children who have an undocumented parent. Deported parents will often protect their children by leaving them behind in the U.S. This potential, and likely permanent, separation feeds the fear endured by undocumented immigrant parents.

Increased immigration enforcement policies and threats of more raids and detentions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have escalated the fear associated with deportation.

In two qualitative studies that colleagues and I conducted with health and social service providers serving documented and undocumented Latinx immigrants in Texas and Tennessee, fear of detention and deportation emerged as a consistent component of immigrants’ daily lives.

Fear was described as so intense that undocumented immigrants avoid using medical or social services, even when their children have known medical needs. Texas providers reported that parents are unwilling to share their home addresses, since permitting outsiders into one’s home can pose risk of detection and, ultimately, deportation.

Census effects

Despite the mandated protections that prevent the U.S. Census Bureau from sharing information with law enforcement or other government organizations, fear and lack of trust of the government could very well supersede undocumented immigrants’ willingness to participate.

Interviews and focus groups conducted by the Census Bureau suggest that immigrants fear their responses would be used to identify and penalize them or their undocumented household members.

Furthermore, among those who do participate, data might be incomplete or inaccurate as a result of fear. For example, evidence suggests that proposals to include a citizenship question, though ultimately thrown out by the Supreme Court, would possibly result in more unanswered questions related to age, race and Latinx household members on the census, especially among individuals who were born in Mexico or Central America.

Responding to the Census using a tablet. Photo credit: U.S. Census

Counting matters

How might these high levels of fear influence the 2020 census?

School, voting and legislative district boundaries will be based on incorrect figures. Allocation of resources for schools and communities will fail to account for the accurate number or demographics of community members. Researchers, businesses and community organizations will design and implement projects based on misinformation.

If the Census Bureau wants to overcome barriers to participation, it will have to make efforts to educate and facilitate participation among undocumented immigrants.

Some ideas might include educating immigrants about how census data are used, in their native languages, or sharing information through trusted community members or organizations serving undocumented immigrants. Flyers, emails and texts from these organizations could potentially serve as an invaluable tool to disseminate accurate content related to the census.

Another idea is that the federal government might be able to reduce fear by ceasing immigration enforcement activity while 2020 census data are actively being collected.

The United States has an opportunity to accurately assess who resides in our country and in our communities. Fostering a climate of safety around the census is essential to achieving a complete count.

 

Mary Lehman Held, Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Tennessee

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

Click hear to read Fear may keep undocumented immigrants out of 2020 census, hurt communities

Categories: Local Blogs

Social distancing to slow coronavirus is hard for a border culture used to hugging, togetherness

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:10am

The Trejo family has been careful about handwashing and using hand-sanitizer to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but when it came time to part ways near the Paso del Norte international bridge, they hugged each other.

“As we were hugging, I thought, ‘Oh no, we should have given each other a little elbow tap,’” said Blanca Trejo, the 65-year-old grandmother and matriarch of the family.

Her 15-year-old granddaughter Ruby Lerma Trejo said she tried not to hug too tightly but said of keeping her distance with family, “oh that’s hard.”  Her grandmother, aunt and young cousins were headed back to Ciudad Juárez. She and her mother and sisters were going back to Horizon City.

The Trejo family said goodbye after a recent visit as part of the family headed to Horizon City and the rest stayed in Ciudad Juárez. Hugs and kisses are part of life on the border, presenting a challenge in combating coronavirus. (Angela Kocherga/El Paso Matters) Learning to keep our distance

Of all the directives to stop the spread of COVID-19, medical experts have said social distancing may be the most important. But it may pose the biggest challenge for borderland residents who not only greet each other with handshakes and hugs but also  in some cases the customary kiss on the cheek that is popular in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

“If we’re really going to reduce the risk of this epidemic of spreading in our community, we’re going to have to learn how not to do that,” said Ogechika Alozie, an infectious disease specialist in El Paso and chief medical officer at Del Sol Medical Center

Alozie acknowledged that changing cultural norms is not easy.

“It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s something we’re going to have to work on, something we’re going to have to continually remind our community, our friends, our families, our children,” he said.

Limiting gatherings to the recommended 10 or fewer people will be especially hard for border residents with large extended families and ties that stretch across three states and two countries.

With the weather warming up, El Pasoans will have to forgo large backyard cookouts or carne asadas.  And many parents who would have relied on grandma to take care of the kids while schools are closed now have to find a backup babysitter to ensure they protect elderly members of the family who are most vulnerable to coronovirus.

Habits hard to change

While some are hunkering down at home, others who crisscross the border to work, shop or visit relatives are trying not to let the coronavirus disrupt their daily routines too much.

“Obviously we’re taking precautions, but we’re also not panicking,” said Lucia Cardoza, 36, a Juárez resident. She came to El Paso to do some shopping with her 76 -year-old father. “We have to continue living life as it is. Just wash your hands and no kissing,” said Silvestre Cardoza, her father.

Plenty of older residents did not heed the advice of health authorities to stay inside and avoid public places. Miguel Hernandez, a retired maintenance worker in his early 70s, scoffed at that idea and said he was relying on his faith to protect him.

“Whatever is coming is coming,” said Hernandez. He lives in Ciudad Juárez.  His 98-year-old mother is in California, one of the hotspots for the virus in the U.S. “We’re a family that takes things as they come.”

Hernandez wanted to offer a handshake, insisting he would not do the elbow bump, and then coughed. “I get this cough every winter, every winter,” he said. He did not use the crook of his arm as recommended to cover his cough.

A contrast in U.S. , Mexico responses

While travelers returning from Europe complained about their health concerns after being stuck in line at crowded airports waiting to be screened before going through U.S. Customs, long pedestrian lines have long been common during peak hours at border land ports of entry.

“There are people who sneeze,” said Ciudad Juárez resident Yadira Aleman, 39.

She crossed into El Paso with her husband and 6-year-old son to shop for clothes, shoes and toys. She was surprised to see El Paso had run out of many items at grocery stores.

“In Juárez we still have bleach and toilet paper,” she said. Juárez stores also are out of hand sanitizer, she said.

Mexico has far fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 than the United States, but President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has faced criticism at home for not setting the example with social distancing. He continues to meet with groups of supporters, hugging people, even kissing a baby.

He did this even as the federal government shut down all public schools through April 6 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Other countries in Latin America have closed their borders to non-residents, including Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia, Panama and Haiti.

A top health official with the Lopez Obrador administration during a recent press conference said Mexico would consider closing the country’s borders if and when necessary.

“What good would that do?” asked Trinidad Zambrano, 56, a Juárez resident. “The virus is here in the environment. That would just hurt people who have to go to work.”

Zambrano was in El Paso visiting her son, who asked her to bring some toilet paper from Juárez.

Cross-border public health efforts

When it comes to the coronavirus, the border region is not at a higher risk than other regions of the United States, according to health officials.

“Being on the border does not make us more susceptible to coronavirus or not,” Alozie said.

El Paso has three presumptive cases. All are travel related. Two are men in their 40s who visited California. The third case is a University of Texas at El Paso student who returned home from “extended overseas travel” according to UTEP.

Ciudad Juárez on Tuesday confirmed its first COVID-19 case. The 29-year old man had traveled to Europe and is now in self-isolation, according to the Chihuahua State Health Department.

More testing once available will help authorities know how widespread the virus is in the borderland region. Health authorities in El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and Las Cruces already work closely on a range of public health issues.

“We’ve been able to integrate, collaborate and coordinate properly so that those challenges aren’t driving worse healthcare outcomes,” Alozie said.

The virus is not life threatening for about 80 percent of people. Children and young people experience few or much weaker symptoms. But they can be carriers and COVID-19 poses a serious risk for people over 60 with chronic health conditions. Those over 80 are especially vulnerable.

A song in the time of coronavirus

Leonardo Alvarado, a singer-songwriter who goes by the stage name Gavilan Norteño, said at age 87 he is worried.  “The coronavirus is dangerous,” he said. But that didn’t stop him from leaving his Juárez house to visit El Paso.

He was eager to talk about all the songs he has recorded and even belted out one of the corridos he has written. “Maybe I should compose one about the virus,” he said before heading back across the border to Ciudad Juárez.

This article first appeared on El Paso Matters and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Categories: Local Blogs

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

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 9:37am

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. Latinos are a highly diverse population, beginning with where they and their families are from. For many Latinos, political events that affect their places of origin significantly influence their electoral preferences.

Given the uneven geographic distribution of Latino communities, these differences may be consequential in certain state elections, as seen most clearly in Florida, where Latinos make up 20% of the eligible electorate.

Since Florida is an important swing state, these voters’ choices can make a difference to national election outcomes.

Breaking down the Latino vote

As a group, the nation’s 32 million Latino potential voters are somewhat more likely than non-Latinos to lean Democratic. About 62% identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 34% affiliate with or lean to the Republicans.

Their policy preferences align broadly with those of their parties, but the partisan gap tends to be smaller than among U.S. voters as a whole. In a 2019 Pew survey, for example, 82% of Latino Democrats and 51% of Latino Republicans believed government “should do more to solve problems.” Among non-Latinos, the corresponding figures were 79% and 22%.

An important way in which Latino voters differ from non-Latinos, and vary among themselves, relates to where they or their forebears came from.

Voters who identify as Latino vary in their places of origin. The ancestors of some lived in North America long before the westward expansion of the United States; Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens after the Spanish-American War; and millions of others immigrated from nations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

Mexican Americans are the largest group, at about 60% of eligible Latino voters. Puerto Ricans come second, with 14%, followed by Cubans at 4%.

Cuban Americans and Florida

In our research on the recent wave of migrants from Central America, we highlighted the problems, from economic insecurity to the prevalence of violence, that motivated people to undertake the often-treacherous journey to the United States.

Our present work examines how the voting preferences of some Latino migrants continue to be shaped by political events and conditions “back home,” even decades after leaving.

The persistent power of the place once called home to shape electoral choices is most apparent among two groups, Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans. Both have large communities in Florida, giving that state a unique demographic profile.

Florida’s Cuban American voters have long made toppling the communist government of Cuba a priority in presidential and congressional elections.

Unusual among Latinos, Cuban Americans have historically favored Republicans, although this preference is declining. Still, in 2016, Donald Trump got more than half of Florida’s Cuban American vote, compared to only a quarter of non-Cuban Latino votes. As a rough estimate, about half a million Cuban Americans voted in the Florida election. Trump won the state by only 112,911 votes.

Many Cuban Americans have pressed their elected representatives for more aggressive U.S. policies aimed at ousting both the government of Cuba and the pro-Cuban socialist government of Venezuela. These voters are joined in this by many in the state’s growing Venezuelan community, as well as residents of Colombian and Nicaraguan heritage.

These communities’ influence can be seen in the strong language Florida’s congressional Democrats use to criticize the autocratic governments of communist Cuba and socialist Venezuela.

In recent decades, Cuban Americans’ attitudes about regime change in Cuba have become more divided. Polls reveal emerging splits between those who left Cuba before 1980 and those who left more recently or were born in the U.S. The younger voters and more recent migrants favor a friendlier stance toward Cuba: ending the U.S. embargo, lifting travel restrictions and deepening diplomatic relations with the island.

In a 2019 Florida International University poll of Cuban American adults in Miami-Dade County, home to almost half the Cuban Americans in the U.S., only 8% identified policy toward Cuba as the top issue influencing their votes in 2018. Domestic policy issues may take precedence, but concern about conditions in Cuba endures.

Growing presence of Puerto Ricans

As the role of place begins to change within the Cuban American community, a new politics of place is becoming evident among Puerto Ricans.

After Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, tens of thousands emigrated to the mainland, with at least one-third going to Florida to join the million Puerto Ricans already living there. Puerto Ricans might soon match Cuban Americans among the state’s eligible voters, though not yet in turnout.

Historically viewed as reliable supporters of Democrats, Florida’s Puerto Ricans have begun breaking old patterns. For example, many voted for Republican Rick Scott in his 2018 senatorial bid, a fact partly attributable to the multiple visits Scott made as governor to their hurricane-ravaged homeland.

In a 2019 survey of Puerto Rican likely 2020 voters in Florida, more than 90% said it would be important to their vote that a candidate offered “specific solutions for the economic recovery and well-being” of the island.

Final considerations

The pull of family roots also matters among other Latino communities. And “home” is clearly just one of the demographic factors that shape Latinos’ electoral choices. Gender, age, income and education are also influential, as they are with other American ethnic groups.

Moreover, the weight of “home” tends to decline over time. Surveys of people who identify as having Latino heritage have revealed that successive generations report lower levels of attention to politics in their country of origin.

However, to the extent that many Latino voters remain highly motivated by concerns about conditions “back home,” candidates seeking their votes will do well not to ignore this aspect of diversity.

Eliza Willis, Professor of Political Science, Grinnell College and Janet A. Seiz, Associate Professor of Economics, Grinnell College

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Categories: Local Blogs

POSTPONED – Applications open for 2020 multimedia training academy for Hispanic-Serving Institution college faculty and students

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 11:09pm

Due to safety concerns and travel limitations related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy in El Paso is being postponed. We are considering options for later in the summer. The dates are still TBD as we monitor the situation.

Borderzine is now accepting applications from college journalism instructors and students for full scholarships to attend its 11th annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy at the University of Texas at El Paso from May 29 to June 4.

The workshop has trained more than 100 educators from Hispanic-serving institutions who brought back digital reporting skills to their classrooms. This year the program is expanding to include some college students as well as previous faculty participants who are interested in working on next-level skills.  In an effort to encourage more schools to cultivate students for the Dow Jones News Fund College Internship Program, previous Multimedia Training Academy attendees are welcome to apply if their institutions have had students accepted into the internship program.

“It is incredibly rewarding to hear how much participants say their skills and confidence are boosted through this training,” said Kate Gannon, Borderzine’s digital content manager, who is director of the academy.

“Instructors are incorporating a lot of what they learned here in their journalism courses. They are sharing their training with other faculty and, in some cases, have introduced new courses and changes to update their schools’ curriculum.”

Participants in the academy go out on assignment in the El Paso community and work in teams to produce multimedia stories that are published in Borderzine.com. The workshop simulates a deadline-oriented, real world newsroom where attendees gain hands-on experience in how to use video, audio and digital photography in news gathering and then how to use the latest editing software in story production. Trainers assign story topics based on border-life issues and topics. Trainers act as “fixers” for the teams, helping to set up interviews and providing transportation and coaching in the field. You may take a look at some of the most recent stories produced in past sessions under the Multimedia Training Academy section here on Borderzine.

This fast-paced, hands-on academy has a proven track record of helping journalism educators develop their skills and confidence in multimedia journalism production.

“Instructors have told us how much they appreciate getting out into the community and doing real stories with the support of a dedicated trainer,” Gannon said. “They say it helps them have empathy for what their students are going through and gives them the confidence to make their courses challenging because they can draw from their own experience in the field.”

The team of trainers includes nationally-known multimedia consultant and NPR Next Generation Project Founder/Director, Doug Mitchell; Borderzine Digital Content Editor and former Digital Content Manager for The Coloradoan Media Group, Kate Gannon; Radio journalist, Monica Ortiz Uribe; former Borderzine Webmaster, Lourdes Cueva Chacon, a PhD candidate in journalism at UT Austin; and broadcast TV veteran Andrew Valencia.

The Dow Jones News Fund provides the funding for full scholarships to 8 journalism instructors and 8 college students from across the country to attend the academy at the University of Texas at El Paso, May 29 – June 4, 2020. The fellowship covers airfare (up to $500) to and from El Paso, lodging near campus with breakfast every day, four lunches and two dinners during the workshop.

The deadline to apply is midnight on Friday, March 27.

Click on the appropriate link below to apply:

For questions about the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy, contact program director, Kate Gannon at kagannon at utep.edu.

Borderzine is an innovative journalism education initiative and online publishing platform that prepares minority journalists for jobs in 21st century news media, addressing the urgent need for diverse newsrooms that reflect our nation’s complex identity. Since 2008, Borderzine.com has published rich, relevant content about the borderlands produced by multicultural student journalists at UT El Paso and partner schools across the U.S. and Mexico.

The Dow Jones News Fund is a national foundation supported by Dow Jones, Dow Jones Foundation and others within the news industry. The organization’s emphasis is on education for students and educators as part of its mission to promote careers in journalism.

 

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Categories: Local Blogs

Application for returning professors for the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 11:03pm

Journalism college instructors and students, please fill out the appropriate form to apply for the 2020 Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy, which runs from May 29 – June 4, 2020 on the UT El Paso campus.

In an effort to encourage more schools to cultivate students for the Dow Jones News Fund College Internship Program, college faculty who have previously attended the Multimedia Training Academy are welcome to apply to attend again if their institutions have had students accepted into the Dow Jones News Fund internship program.

The Dow Jones News Fund is providing the funding for full scholarships to attend this fast-paced, hands-on multimedia training academy. The fellowship covers airfare (up to $500) to and from El Paso, lodging near campus with breakfast every day, four lunches and two dinners during the workshop.

The deadline to apply is midnight on Friday, March 27. For more information: Multimedia journalism training academy for college faculty accepting applications for 2020

For questions about the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy, please contact program director, Kate Gannon,  at kagannon at utep.edu.

DJMTA Previous Attendees Application 2020 Application form for Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy 2020

  • Name* First Last
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    • 4
    • 5
  • Social Media Tools*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. for journalism
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Data visualization*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about creating graphics and interactives using tools like Google Maps, Flourish and Tableau to go with digital stories.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Digital media Entrepreneurship*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about digital media innovation and new business models during this workshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • 360 video and photo*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about 360 video and photo storytelling during this workshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • *When did you attend the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy in El Paso?
  • *What skills have you acquired or expanded on since attending the academy?
  • *Which of your students from your institution have been accepted into the Dow Jones News Fund internship program? (Must include at least one. Can be just the most recent you know of)
  • *What are your interests for this year's training? What next-level skills do you want to return to the academy to work on?
  • *What are some non-technical challenges you currently face?
  • *How do you plan on applying what you learn at the Multimedia Academy at your institution?
  • *Do you have any special requests or concerns regarding your attendance at the Multimedia Academy?
  • Please upload your Resume*
  • Please upload your multimedia course syllabus
  • If chosen, can you commit to mentor two students from your school to apply for the Dow Jones internship next school year?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • PhoneThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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Click hear to read Application for returning professors for the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy

Categories: Local Blogs

Application for college journalism instructors for the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy (first-time attendees)

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 11:00pm

Journalism college instructors and students, please fill out the appropriate form to apply for the 2020 Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy, which runs from May 29 – June 4, 2020 on the UT El Paso campus.

The Dow Jones News Fund is providing the funding for full scholarships to attend this fast-paced, hands-on multimedia training academy. The fellowship covers airfare (up to $500) to and from El Paso, lodging near campus with breakfast every day, four lunches and two dinners during the workshop.

The deadline to apply is midnight on Friday, March 27. For more information: Multimedia journalism training academy for college faculty accepting applications for 2020

For questions about the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy, please contact program director, Kate Gannon,  via email at kagannon at utep.edu.

DJMTA Application 2020 for first-time attendees Application form for Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy 2020

  • Name* First Last
  • Email*
  • Work Phone
  • Cell Phone
  • Twitter Handle
  • University or College Name*
  • Department or Program*
  • You are a*
    • Tenured or tenure-track professor
    • Professor of practice
    • Senior or full-time lecturer
    • Part-time lecturer
  • Supervisor's name and title*
  • Supervisor's email address*
  • Does your institution offer Journalism as a major or concentration?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • Does your institution provide instruction in Multimedia Journalism?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • List any form of student-organized media at your institution
  • Do you teach in a computer lab?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • What types of digital technology do your students have access to?*
  • Are your students able to publish their class-produced stories online?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • If yes, what is the url to publication's website?
  • What courses do you plan to teach during the 2020-2021 academic year?*
  • Video editing*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in video editing programs like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut and iMovie
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Audio editing*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in audio editing programs like Adobe Audition, Audacity, ProTools and Hindenburg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Photo editing*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in professional photo editing programs like Photoshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Content management systems (CMS)*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in blogging or website content systems like Wordpress, Tumblr, Squarespace
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mobile Reporting*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in using mobile tools for reporting, such as livestreaming, audio recording apps, video apps and live coverage on social media.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Social Media Tools*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. for journalism
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Data visualization*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about creating graphics and interactives using tools like Google Maps, Flourish and Tableau to go with digital stories.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Digital media Entrepreneurship*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about digital media innovation and new business models during this workshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • 360 video and photo*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) RATE YOUR INTEREST in learning more about 360 video and photo storytelling during this workshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • *What other software have you tried or are interested in learning more about? Please explain
  • *What apps or techniques have you tried or are interested in learning more about like Snapchat, Facebook Live, etc.? Please explain
  • *What are some non-technical challenges you currently face?
  • *What are your expectations of this year's multimedia training?
  • *What type of projects are you expecting to produce at the training?
  • *How do you plan on applying what you learn at the Multimedia Academy in your classroom?
  • *What is your motivation for applying to the Academy?
  • *Do you have any special requests or concerns regarding your attendance at the Multimedia Academy?
  • *Are you interested in co-publishing or publishing your students’ stories on Borderzine?
  • *Have you been to the El Paso border region before?
  • *Lastly, tell us about a difficult situation in a group setting and how you dealt with it:
  • Please upload your Resume*
  • Please upload your multimedia course syllabus
  • If chosen, can you commit to mentor two students from your school to apply for the Dow Jones internship next school year?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • PhoneThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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Click hear to read Application for college journalism instructors for the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy (first-time attendees)

Categories: Local Blogs

Application for college journalism students for the 2020 Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 10:59pm

Journalism college instructors and students, please fill out the appropriate form to apply for the 2020 Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy, which runs from May 29 – June 4, 2020 on the UT El Paso campus.

The Dow Jones News Fund is providing the funding for full scholarships to attend this fast-paced, hands-on multimedia training academy. The fellowship covers airfare (up to $500) to and from El Paso, lodging near campus with breakfast every day, four lunches and two dinners during the workshop.

The deadline to apply is midnight on Friday, March 27. For more information: Multimedia journalism training academy for accepting applications for 2020

For questions about the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy, please contact program director, Kate Gannon,  via email at kagannon at utep.edu.

Eligibility

College students and graduate students are eligible to apply for the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy as long as they are currently enrolled during the application period and not graduating before December. Recent graduates are not eligible.

DJMTA STUDENT Application 2020 Application form for Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy 2020

  • Name* First Last
  • Email*
  • Cell Phone
  • Twitter Handle
  • University or College Name*
  • Department or Program*
  • Your classification (Junior, Senior, etc.)
  • When to you expect to graduate?*
  • Does your institution offer Journalism as a major or concentration?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • Does your institution provide instruction in Multimedia Journalism?*
    • Yes
    • No
  • Briefly tell a bit about yourself and your goals*
  • Do you have any video, audio editing or writing experience? What kind of work have you done?*
  • Do you have any web content management experience (blogs, etc?) Please describe*
  • Video editing*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in video editing programs like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut and iMovie
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Audio editing*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in audio editing programs like Adobe Audition, Audacity, ProTools and Hindenburg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Photo editing*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in professional photo editing programs like Photoshop or Lightroom
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Content management systems (CMS)*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in blogging or website content systems like Wordpress
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mobile Reporting*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your level of experience in using mobile tools for reporting, such as livestreaming, audio recording apps, video apps and live coverage on social media.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Social Media Tools*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your interest in learning more about using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. for journalism
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Data visualization*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your interest in learning more about creating graphics and interactives using tools like Google Maps, Flourish and Tableau to go with digital stories.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Digital media Entrepreneurship*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your interest in learning more about digital media innovation and new business models during this workshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • 360 video and photo*Using a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) rate your interest in learning more about 360 video and photo storytelling during this workshop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • *Please share a recent accomplishment (personal or professional) that you are proud of
  • *Do you have any special requests or concerns regarding your attendance at the Multimedia Academy?
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • Please upload your Resume*
  • Upload a letter of recommendation from your professor*
  • Upload your essay here*Upload a short essay telling us about yourself, your motivation for attending the academy and why you are a good candidate to be selected for the project. File should be a Word document.
  • EmailThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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Click hear to read Application for college journalism students for the 2020 Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy

Categories: Local Blogs

Sanders wows crowd during El Paso stop amid Texas early voting

Sat, 02/22/2020 - 8:32pm

EL PASO – Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders fired up a nearly full Abraham Chavez theater Saturday while also heading to victory in the Nevada caucuses, hitting all the high notes and exciting his fans.

Vowing to “end the hatred,” Sanders promised to change current immigration policy and no longer “snatch a baby from her mother” if people are crossing illegally and end ICE raids. The highly supportive crowd of nearly 2,500 cheered.

Sanders has been critical of Trump’s policies and rhetoric, which he’s repeatedly referred to as racist and xenophobic.

Before attending the rally, Sanders visited the memorial for the Aug. 3 mass shooting, where 22 people were killed by a white supremacist who targeted Hispanics at a central El Paso Walmart.

His support has increased in Texas since the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, placing him as the front-runner in the state, according to two polls from early February.

Mary Silva, 32, and Bernadette Silva, 28, went to the event excited about Sanders’ chances of winning the nomination and the presidency.

“If we can win here in Texas, Trump is finished,” Sanders said about incumbent President Donald J. Trump.

“I think he has a really good chance, a very good chance,” Mary Silva said, “I think it will be hard getting him through Texas, but I think he can do if there’s enough people that work together and stuff, yes I do think we can make a difference.”

“If the message can break through and hopefully reach people, then I think he has a chance to win in Texas,” Bernadette Silva said.

They said they supported the senator’s candidacy because of his stance on the environment and his endorsement of the Green New Deal.

“It’s exciting to hear someone so progressive, I’m really excited about the climate, like I think that’s a very big issue so it’s good to hear that he’s getting there, I think it’s a very good deal, it’s hopeful,” Mary Silva said.

“Hopefully this means that his message is resonating with people around the U.S. and again in Texas, climate change is very big deal to me, so I’m hoping he gets the nomination and it leaves me really hopeful and excited for this,” Bernadette Silva said.

“Climate change is not a hoax. It is the greatest possible threat,” Sanders said. “I kinda trust the scientist over Donald Trump.”

Tania Silva, 31, a resident of El Paso, said she has been supporting Sanders since 2015

She added that she would not support any other candidate if Sanders doesn’t secure the nomination.

“I’m here to support the best candidate that the United States has seen in a very, very long time, I’m here to show my energy and enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders,” said Ruby Montana, 38, a humanities lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College.

“Really he’s the only candidate that has such an amount of integrity, and zeal, and a moral compass, and ethics, and morals, and right now we don’t have that at the White House at all, in fact we have the complete opposite,” Montana said.

She described Trump in a similar way to how Sanders described him during his speech as a xenophobe and a liar.

Hira Ali, 23, a pre-med student at UTEP who wants to become a doctor, said she has supported Sanders since the last presidential election.

“I feel that his advocacy for healthcare for all will actually help change the healthcare system for the better, I actually think it will work, and it will benefit doctors and patients alike,” Ali said.

Rodrigo Rodriguez, 23, another UTEP student said he supports Sanders’ proposal for free college tuition because he currently struggles to pay it, and even though he doesn’t know much about his whole platform, that really resonated with him.

Some of Sanders’s messages that have excited young people are cancelling student debt and public universities and colleges tuition free.

“He’s a good man, his policies are strong and he’s always had a plan, I supported him in 2016 and I still support him now,” said Brisa Rodriguez, 18, a UTEP student from Austin.

“I’m here because I favored Bernie’s position on healthcare, and other things, comprehensive immigration reform,” Aldo Mena, 49, said.

Photo gallery

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Sanders’ appeal to Fronterizos

In 2015, El Paso had the seventh largest percentage of foreign-born residents among 104 top U.S. metros, according to a report from El Paso Times.

Rocio Fierro Perez, 24, moved to El Paso when she was 3 years old and is in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. She said she was motivated by the senator’s message, and even though she was not able to vote she wanted to participate as much as she could.

“It is particularly important to me because although I wasn’t born here, I’ve lived here my whole life,” she said.

Shedrick Allen, 35, was born in Frankfurt, Germany in a military family. He’s been a resident of El Paso for 13 years and said he supports senator Sanders because he feels that other candidates from the two larger parties have failed the average citizen.

He said he was confident that Sanders will be able to gather support from people both in the left and the right.

Valeria Terrazas, 27, who works in El Paso but lives in Juarez said she thinks that Sanders can win the nomination because he has more support than any other candidate.

Nevertheless, she said that Sanders might not be the favorite candidate for many business owners and wealthy people, but emphasized that the majority of people supported him.

During his speech, Sanders criticized the incarceration rate of people of color and proposed ending the war on drugs, while preventing corporations from monopolizing the legal market for marijuana. “There are more people in jail here than another other country,” Sanders said, noting the high numbers of Hispanic and African-Americans in prison.

Sanders also said he would end the cash bail system in the United States because many poor people are in jail and can’t make cash bail while they await trial.

“I like a lot of his ideas, I hope he keeps pushing the peace button I love that, the world can’t stand too much more,” said Thomas Valle, 69, who drove from Ruidoso with his daughter and her boyfriend.

Despite the big support for Sanders’ proposals and his rise in the polls, not everyone at the event were so confident about Sanders winning the presidency.

Debbie Nathan, 69, an anti-deportation advocate, said she has been supporting the senator for a while, but is concerned that people won’t support him because they think he’s too radical.

“I do support his platform, but probably like many many other people I’m terrified that he’s going to be red baited, and he’s going to be called a Communist, and I’m really worried about whether he could win or not,” Nathan said.

She also said that if she was not supporting Sanders, she would support candidate Elizabeth Warren, but she’s worried that people won’t vote for her either.

Click hear to read Sanders wows crowd during El Paso stop amid Texas early voting

Categories: Local Blogs

Tribune en español, an alternative after Hoy’s shut down in Chicago

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 6:00pm

By Hallie Newnam, Special to Borderzine.com

CHICAGO – After 16 years, Hoy—the Spanish-language newspaper of the Tribune Publishing Company—has shut down.

In mid-November, the Tribune announced that on Dec. 13, 2019 both Hoy’s print and online operations would end. However, the Tribune was reportedly “aggressively exploring other options” for its Hispanic audience.

Many loyal followers of the publication were frustrated and confused about the newspaper’s abrupt end. “This is such a loss for Chicago. Hoy covers this city’s Latinx community with a depth that no other newsroom in the city is capable of doing (or seemingly willing to do),” tweeted Ella Lee, a reporter and editor at The Depaulia, the student news site of DePaul University in Chicago.

Hoy’s newsroom was also experiencing similar feelings. Chicago Tribune spokesman Tilden Katz assured that they “anticipate providing all affected employees the opportunity to take open positions inside the company.”

The decision to shut down Hoy received backlash from the Chicago Tribune Guild. It is “deeply disappointed that Tribune Publishing is shutting down Hoy, which has gone beyond stereotypes and provided meaningful news to the vast body of Spanish-speakers in our region. This is a disservice to our journalists, our readers and our company.” They requested the Tribune Publishing executives to reconsider their decision but the closing went ahead.

Reasons behind the closing

Although there was not an official reason provided for the shutdown of the newspaper, cutbacks had slowly been made over the past two years, which insinuated an impending end. Hugo Balta, President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ,) stated, “Going by what Tribune has made public, it’s a business decision.”

“From my point of view,” said Clemente Nicado, editor and publisher of NegociosNow, a Chicago-based business publication, “the disappearance of Hoy has to do with, on one hand, the adverse scenario faced by all print media and, on the other, Hoy couldn’t take a different road to survive. Nicado, who worked at Hoy for four years, added that it’s required “to have a good business model, place executives who understand the Latino community, and know the industry sufficiently to adapt to the new times. That did not happen in this case.”

The last edition of Hoy newspaper, Behind, a t-shirt of its predecessor, the defunct ¡Éxito! Weekly paper. Photo by Elio Leturia, Special to Borderzine

The Tribune venture that aimed at the Chicago Spanish-speaking audience started with the weekly ¡Éxito! (Success! In Spanish) in 1993. Ten years after, Hoy was launched as a daily publication in 2003. Later it moved to three times a week. In 2017, the paper became a weekly. “I — and many of us who work in Latinx media — knew they would one day close Hoy. That’s part of the reason I left in 2014,” stated The Chicago Reporter Editor Fernando Díaz when the announcement was made. At the time of the closing Hoy’s staff had been reduced to six employees, which is less than one-sixth of the original staff comprised of 33 during its launch year.

With the knowledge that the Hispanic community accounts for nearly 30 percent of Chicago’s population, it is clear that Hoy’s disappearance will greatly affect a large amount of the city’s Spanish-speaking readers.

“To have an outlet like Hoy shut down, one of very few, is detrimental in assisting a community that, like so many immigrant communities, not just Latinos, gravitate to media in order to learn how to navigate in their adoptive country as well as stay in touch with their family and their friends back home,” said Hugo Balta, NAHJ President.

Telemundo Chicago producer Carolina Cruz thinks the closing mostly affects “the older generation of the Hispanic audience that really is more Spanish dominant.” She said that readers in their fifties and sixties that were raise in a Spanish-speaking households are “going to look for information in Spanish because that’s the language [they] feel more comfortable with.”

“The ending of Hoy is bittersweet … for me, and many others, it was a place to practice a special kind of public service journalism,” said Fernando Díaz, who landed his first managing editor job at Hoy. “With its departure, we will see whether the community steps up to support independent media. I think there is a will and we have many ways to ensure that our communities get covered. But the closure of Hoy now means the ball is in our court. We have an opportunity to shape the future of Latinx media and we can’t let it get away.”

The Tribune’s response

Now that it has been over a month since the shutdown, the Tribune has made efforts to continue to serve the Latinx community in Chicago, but have these efforts been enough?

It was announced on Dec. 18, 2019 that some affected employees have, in fact, been offered new positions at the company. Laura Rodríguez, one of the six remaining staff members of Hoy, has taken up a bilingual journalist position for the Chicago Tribune. Hoy members Gisela Orozco, Leticia Espinosa and José Luis Sánchez are now editing for the new “Tribune en español” section on the website under Tribune Publishing.

The new Tribune en español section of the Chicago Tribune website

Since the shutdown of Hoy, the Chicago Tribune website now has a section titled “Tribune en español.” Within the section, there lies three subsections: Noticias (News), Entretenimiento (Entertainment), and Deportes (Sports). According to Laura Rodríguez, the stories that are published are not original for this website; they are curated stories from other national and international agencies. The stories are not necessarily local, and they focus more on broad news that may affect Chicago’s Latinx community. Some of the stories originate in Spanish, and some are translated from English to Spanish and edited by Orozco, Espinosa, Sánchez, and former Hoy editor-in-chief Octavio López.

“Is it better than having nothing? Yes. But is it enough? No,” states Rodríguez. She says that the Tribune en español section is a work in progress; it’s a start. She hopes it develops into something stronger with time by taking advantage of local resources and getting more active in the newsroom.

Only time can tell how they will try to make up for Hoy’s loss in the future. As NegociosNow Publisher Clemente Nicado said, “…[T]he Hispanic community is here. It is bigger than it was in 2003. They love to speak Spanish or speak both languages. You have to reach this community one way or another, whether through print, digital or television, or through a combination of them. While there is a Latino community and information to convey, the opportunity is there.”

Hallie Newnam is a journalism student at Columbia College Chicago.

Click hear to read Tribune en español, an alternative after Hoy’s shut down in Chicago

Categories: Local Blogs

Family, food and shopping biggest reasons for El Pasoans to visit Juarez

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 2:44pm

Ciudad Juarez is known as a sprawling border city with a strong economy thanks to the proliferation of of over 300 hundred maquiladoras, factories that assemble parts for a variety of items from car radios to windmill blades. Less well known is that the desert city of 2 million residents draws many El Paso residents to visit each day to patronize a variety of Juarez businesses from restaurants to clothing boutiques.

These preferences are most visibly shown in the medical and retail sectors, but according to the Border Perception Index, a survey conducted as part of an initiative called Building Broader Communities in the Americas, the second main reason El Pasoans cross to Cd. Juarez is to shop for 21.5 percent of those polled. The primary reason for El Pasoans to go to Juarez, according to the survey, is to visit family or friends, as indicated by 44 percent of those surveyed.

The survey, spearheaded by the El Paso Community Foundation with participation by two UTEP researchers, is the first detailed cross-border survey of residents of both sides of the frontera. Conducted between August and September of 2018, the survey includes responses from 896 El Pasoans and 1535 Juarez residents.

Shopping

La Marquesa, a popular clothing store in Juarez, is one of the most visited stores by residents of El Paso, said Ana Cristina Acosta, an Environmental Engineering graduate student at The University of Texas at El Paso.

“I know about La Marquesa because of my friends… told me that they discovered a new store with very good prices and cool stuff, especially good jewelry for every occasion,” said Acosta, who visits at least twice a month.

“Since the first day I went there I loved everything they had… and I’ve bought many gifts for family and friends, earrings, necklaces, dresses, accessories for my phone, necklaces for my dogs and other pet supplies.”

Merchandise in La Marquesa. Photo by Grecia Sanchez, Borderzine.com

Acosta said she is especially attracted by La Marquesa’s entrepreneurial activities such as “Bazar La Marquesa,” where different concept stores from Mexico and Cd. Juarez come together often usually in front of the store’s parking lot to offer their products at cheaper prices than retail stores.

“While I used to buy all of these things at H&M, Dillard’s or Macy’s, now I definitely prefer to go to La Marquesa,” Acosta said.

Burritos Crisostomo. Photo by Grecia Sanchez

Casual dining

Claudia Hernandez, a college junior student with a double major in digital media production and multimedia journalism, has been to Burritos Crisostomo on both sides of the border as she says it is one of the best street food restaurants of the region.

“I remember in El Paso I ate the barbacoa burrito and then, the other time I went, I got the quesadilla and beans, and in Juarez, I’ve eaten like, all of them,” she says. “But I stopped going to the one at El Paso because I was always comparing the price and everything and I was like ‘ugh, they’re too expensive,’” she said.

Hernandez says there is a price difference of almost two dollars between a Crisostomo burrito in El Paso ($3.90) and a Juarez Crisostomo burrito at $1.53 or 30 pesos.

The 22-year-old says her frequent visits to Juarez are to visit her grandmother and other family that live there. She usually also spends the night at the home of a family member. And a frequent activity is to take her family out to eat.

“So it’s always like that feeling of every time I go to Crisostomo in Juarez I’m having a good time,” she said.

However, she prefers the El Paso location in the summers because of the indoor air conditioning. The Juarez Crisostomo she frequents is outdoors.

“I think Juarez doesn’t have the appropriate weather for that type of restaurant because it’s always super-hot or cold or windy,” she said.

La Choperia is a popular stop for visitors from El Paso in Juarez. Photo by Grecia Sanchez, Borderzine.com

Fine Dining

Patricia Muñoz, a 49-year-old businesswoman from El Paso who works in the construction equipment business, enjoys going to a high end restaurant in Juarez called La Choperia on Avenida Lincoln near the Cordova bridge border crossing.

At the fancy restaurant, she says, she can experience an enjoyable moment with excellent quality in everything they offer.

“I do prefer La Choperia more than restaurants at El Paso… because it is close to the bridge, it has a safe parking lot, and I just love the music there,” Muñoz said. “My family and friends love it there too. We even participate singing and playing with their musical group and one just feels welcomed there.”

Muñoz also visits Chinese restaurant Shangrila as well as other types of restaurants such as Los Arcos, Ardeo and La Cabaña. She also enjoys crossing over to assist community events, boutique stores and holistic centers at Juarez or get her mandado in stores like Smart, Costco, and Soriana.

Munoz said that she is a frequent border crosser and adds: “I live my life in both cities.”

 

 

Click hear to read Family, food and shopping biggest reasons for El Pasoans to visit Juarez

Categories: Local Blogs

The Rarámuri experience in Ciudad Juárez

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 6:48pm

One of the main indigenous groups in the state of Chihuahua is known as the Tarahumada. They recognize themselves as Rarámuri. Most live in the mountains, but they also have colonies within Ciudad Juarez exclusively for them. Adriana Garcia, a Mixteca Juárense, interviewed Rosalinda Guadalajara, the local governor of the Rarámuri.

Transcript (English translation below)

INTRODUCCION: Este verano las universidades de UTEP y UACJ colaboraron para grabar historias personales de ambos lados de esta frontera. Uno de los grupos indigenas principales en el estado de Chihuahua se conocen como los Tarahumada. Ellos se auto-reconocen como Rarámuri. La mayoría viven en la sierra, pero también tienen colonias dentro de Ciudad Juárez exclusivamente para ellos. Adriana Garcia, una Mixteca Juárense, entrevisto a Rosalinda Guadalajara gobernadora local de los Rarámuri.  

ADRIANA: Sabes porque los Rarámuri son famosos alrededor del mundo?

ROSALINDA: Nosotros los Rarámuri caminamos mucho ósea para sobrevivir, para alimentarse para dar a su comunidad. Si mas recuerdo Lorena, corredora a nivel mundial, Lorena dijo, ‘Yo corro por hambre, corro por hambre porque así solamente puedo ayudar a la gente si gano esa carrera.’ 

ADRIANA: Platicanos cómo llegaste a Ciudad Juárez?

ROSALINDA: Tenia como siete años más o menos. Mis papas fueron los que vinieron primero. Después mandaron por mí. Ellos vinieron por la necesidad, por tener, por buscar trabajo. Y desde ahí cuando ellos me trajeron,  yo no me sentía pues así augusto. Era para mí, era otro mundo. 

ADRIANA: Y como que experimentaste aqui, cómo te trataba la gente?

ROSALINDA: Por primera vez que llegue aquí en la ciudad yo desconocía, desconocía cuales eran mis derechos si podia entrar en tiendas grandes o no. O hasta incluso hasta subirte en un camion te sentías que no tenias ese derecho para subirte en ese camion. Por no saber leer si el camion era el correcto al que tenias que agarrar pues parabas a un camion para preguntar, no, a un chofer que muchas de las veces sí paraban y sí te decía. Pero muchas veces no, no se paraban. Y teníamos que durar horas y horas ahí esperándolo hasta que pasara otro camion. 

ADRIANA: Una vez te paso algo con el bar Kentucky, salió mucho en las noticias nos podrías hablar de eso?

ROSALINDA: Pues era mi primera vez, no, de ir a ese lugar para convivir con unos amigos que ellos me habían invitado, no. Siempre yo lo veía que era mas así como que para gente turística. Entonces ya ahí cuando llegamos en efecto pues pasa que el guardia que estaba ahí nos dice de que no había lugar, que el lugar ya estaba todo reservado, no. Empezaron a decir los compañeros, ‘Pues si el lugar esta vacío.’ Entonces ya empieza decir que era por mí que porque yo traía guaraches o porque no podia pasar por si cae algún botella ahí que tuviera un accidente no. Entonces fue cuando ya le digieron no, mientras vengas con ella pues no entran y si van entrar que se cambie primero. Y realmente yo ahí le dije al muchacho, ‘Te dije que no nos iban a dejar entrar. Bienvenido al mundo de los Rarámuri que eso es lo que enfrentamos día a día.’ 

ADRIANA: Qué piensas de lo que paso en ese momento?

ROSALINDA: Hemos vivido mucha discriminación, no. Siempre desde pequeña e vivido lo que es así en las calles, no, veían algún indígena pues siempre te decían ‘indios’, ‘patarajada’, o incluso pues te arremedaban cuando hablabas, no, o se reían viéndote. Pues muchas veces nosotros de lo que vivimos lo normalizamos y es por eso que la gente siguen haciendo porque piensan que al final no hacen nada, no pasa nada, no saben dónde acudir, no saben, ellos son muy resistentes, aguantan lo que les decimos, no. 

ADRIANA: Pero en realidad en Ciudad Juárez hay muchas comunidades no solo la Rarámuri, la Mixteca. Hay Zapotecos, Otomi, Chinantecos, Mazahuas, Huicholes, Purépecha. En cierto momento las comunidades como son migrantes se sienten como un poco mas abajo porque vas a una, hacer cuál quiere cosa, les dicen, ‘No, es que no eres de Chihuahua, no perteneces aquí, ve te a tu pueblo. Aquí no te vamos a ayudar.’ 

ROSALINDA: Como comunidades indigenas creo que la única manera de resolver si seria como que unirnos. Muchas veces vas a decir pues como yo no lo vivo pues no me voy a ni a ponerme a trabajar ni mucho menos a opinar. Y aunque no lo hayas vivido, pero siempre hay un día que te puede pasar, no. 

Transcript in English

INTRODUCTION: This summer the universities of UTEP and UACJ collaborated to record personal stories from both sides of the border. One of the main indigenous groups in the state of Chihuahua is known as the Tarahumada. They recognize themselves as Rarámuri. Most live in the mountains, but they also have colonies within Ciudad Juarez exclusively for them. Adriana Garcia, a Mixteca Juárense, interviewed Rosalinda Guadalajara, the local governor of the Rarámuri.  

ADRIANA: Do you know why the Rarámuri are famous around the world?

ROSALINDA: We Rarámuri walk a lot to survive, to feed, to give to their community. If I remember correctly, Lorena, a global runner, Lorena said, ‘I run for hunger, I run for hunger because that’s the only way I can help people, if I win the race.’ 

ADRIANA: Tell us, how did you get to Ciudad Juárez?

ROSALINDA: I was about seven years old or so. My parents were the ones who came first. Then they sent for me. They came for the need, for having, for looking for work. And from there on, when they brought me, I did not feel so comfortamble. For me, it was another world. 

ADRIANA: And how did you experience it here, how did people treat you?

ROSALINDA: The first time I arrived here in the city, I didn’t know what my rights were, if I could enter large stores or not. Or even to get on the bus, you felt as if you didn’t have that right to get on that bus. Beacuse of not knowing how to read if the bus was the one you had to take, you would have to stop a bus to ask the driver, who often stopped and told you. But many times they wouldn’t stop. And we would have to last for hours and hours there, waiting until another bus would pass. 

ADRIANA: Something happened to you once at the Kentucky bar, it came out a lot in the news, could you tell us about that?

ROSALINDA: Well, it was my first time going to that place to hang out with friends who had invited me. I always saw it was more for tourists. When we arrived, the guard who was there tells us that there was no more space, that the place was already reserved. My friends began to say, ‘But the place is empty.’ Then he starts saying that it was because of me, that it was because I had brought sandles, I could not pass because if a bottle fell, there could be an accident. That was when they told us no, “As long as you come with her you do not enter,” and if they were going to enter then she had to change first. And there I told the boy, ‘I told you they weren’t going to let us in. Welcome to the world of the Rarámuri, this is what we face every day. ‘

ADRIANA: What do you think of what happened at that time?

ROSALINDA: We have experienced a lot of discrimination. Ever since I was little and lived what is like in the streets, they would see someone indigenous and called you ‘Indians’, ‘patarajada’, orbthey would mock how you talked, or laughed at you. Well, many times what we lived, we normalized it, and that is why people keep doing it, because they think that in the end “nothing happens, they do not know where to go, they are very resisilient, they can take what we tell them.”

ADRIANA: But in reality in Ciudad Juárez there are many communities, not only the Rarámuri, the Mixteca. There are Zapotecs, Otomi, Chinantecos, Mazahuas, Huicholes, Purépecha. At some point, communities that are migrants feel less than, because you go to do whatever and they say, ‘No, you’re not from Chihuahua, you don’t belong here, go back to your town. We are not going to help you here. ‘ 

ROSALINDA: As indigenous communities, I think the only way to resolve it would be by coming together. Many times you will say, “because I do not live it, I am not going to work, or much less, give my opinion.” And although you have not lived it, there can always be a day where it can happen to you. 

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Categories: Local Blogs

Food trucks leverage border street food tradition into storefront businesses

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 5:54pm

Borderzine reporter Nicole Madrid explores how some El Paso entrepreneurs used food trucks to test and build their brick and mortar businesses.



Story Script

FROM FOOD TRUCK TO STOREFRONT
5:42
NICOLE MADRID

NATS 1: [Fade in sounds of food truck generator humming. Keep low under TRACK, fade out under “options.” ]

TRACK 1: (:28)

THE HUM OF A FOOD TRUCK HAS BECOME THE SOUNDTRACK TO MANY EL PASO MEALS IN RECENT YEARS, ATTRACTING DINERS WITH THEIR UNIQUE AND AFFORDABLE OPTIONS. NOW, FOOD TRUCK OWNERS LIKE PALOMA TREJO ARE MAKING THEIR NEXT STOP A BIT MORE PERMANENT.

ACT 1: Paloma Trejo (:07)
“We always had the idea of doing a store front, and we used the food truck as sort of like the vehicle to get us here.”

TRACK 2:
TREJO STARTED SWEET ADDICTION, EL PASO’S FIRST DESSERT TRUCK, IN 2012.

[Nats, street, bell, “good to see you”]

AFTER FOUR YEARS ON WHEELS, TREJO OPENED HER BAKERY IN A 1950’s STUCCO BUILDING ON PIEDRAS STREET IN CENTRAL EL PASO.

ACT 2: Trejo (:27)
“I honestly believe with all my heart that if I would have had the money to start a bakery, and if I would have just, you know, up and opened the bakery I would have probably been one of those people that is out of business within the first year, you know, or two. I don’t think I would have made it.”

TRACK 3:
FOR FIRST-TIME BUSINESS OWNERS LIKE TREJO, FOOD TRUCKS OFFER THE CHANCE TO EXPERIMENT AND LEARN WHAT CUSTOMERS LIKE.

ACT 3: Trejo
“it was through the food truck that we figured out that we like doing seasonal flavors and that people were kind of into that.”

TRACK 4:
THE TOP SELLERS FOR THE TRUCK ARE CUPCAKES THAT TREJO SAYS SHE’LL NEVER TAKE OFF THE MENU.

ACT 4: Trejo
“Right from the get go…our two most popular flavors are the churro and the red velvet. Those are the ones that everybody wants”

TRACK 5:
LEE ANNE VEGA AT THE EL PASO CHAPTER OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, SAYS TREJO IS AMONG MANY IN THE BORDERLAND TURNING TO FOOD TRUCKS TO START UP A NEW BUSINESS.

ACT 5: Lee Anne Vega (:06)
(17:19) “There is a boom right now and we see that a lot. We get a lot of traffic from people that want food trucks.”

TRACK 6: (:22)
ACCORDING TO FOOD INSPECTION DATA FROM THE CITY’S HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THERE ARE CURRENTLY MORE THAN 300 ACTIVE MOBILE FOOD VENDOR PERMITS IN EL PASO.

VEGA SAYS MANY NEW ENTREPRENEURS IN EL PASO DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE CAPITAL TO START A BRICK AND MORTAR BUSINESS. ACCORDING TO 2017 CENSUS DATA, THE AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME IN EL PASO IS JUST UNDER TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, COMPARED TO A NATIONAL AVERAGE OF THIRTY ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

ACT 6: Vega (:26)
“You don’t want the majority of your- of your finances to go to overhead costs: to renting a space or all of the maintenance and upkeep that comes from that. So if you have a food truck the cost is minimal to get it going, and to move it around, and even just employee-wise you don’t need as many employees to keep a food truck running as you would for a brick and mortar location.”

ACT 7: Gabe Valencia
“It’s a much smaller risk with the bus.”

TRACK 7:
GABE VALENCIA CO-OWNS KAEDAMA, A SUCCESSFUL EL PASO RAMEN SHOP THAT STARTED IN A CONVERTED VW BUS.

ACT 8: Valencia
“If the bus had failed it would have been a small investment compared to the one that the restaurant was, so it was a nice little trial run.”

TRACK 8:
LIKE TREJO, VALENCIA FOUND THAT THE LOWER RISK OF THE FOOD TRUCK ALLOWED HIM TO EXPERIMENT WITH FOODS THAT WEREN’T COMMON TO EL PASO.

ACT 9: Valencia (:20)
“When we had just launched the bus we actually were kind of like an all-around Asian cuisine type deal. We had pho on the menu, we had banh mi sandwiches, we had steamed pork buns, …and eventually we just settled on it being a Japanese ramen bus”

(Nat sounds of outside Kaedema)
TRACK 9:
TURNS OUT, SETTLING ON RAMEN WAS A GOOD CHOICE. THE FOOD TRUCK TRANSFORMED INTO A RESTAURANT ON EL PASO’S WEST SIDE AND KEEPS SO BUSY A SIGN ON THE DOOR TELLS CUSTOMERS TO WAIT OUTSIDE UNTIL A SERVER GREETS THEM.

Ambi kitchen
THE TINY KITCHEN STAYS ACTIVE TURNING OUT BOWLS OF HOT RAMEN TO A FULL HOUSE.
(Fade out ambi)

TRACK 10: (:11)
TREJO ATTRIBUTES THE GROWING POPULARITY OF FOOD TRUCKS IN EL PASO TO A STRONG TRADITION OF STREET FOOD IN NEARBY JUAREZ, MEXICO..

ACT 12: Trejo (:10)
“A lot of us, you know, grew up in Juarez or come from Juarez where street food is sort of like a normal thing. You know we’re never scared of eating tacos on a street corner. We have that culture.”

BOTH VALENCIA AND TREJO SAY FOOD TRUCKS WERE ALSO A WAY TO SEE IF THEIR COOKING WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS.

ACT 10: Valencia
“A lot of people I think make really good food. People like their family and friends will tell them it’s good. And when they open the restaurant and it’s you know it’s the public. They don’t- they’re not forced to be nice and they might get different reactions”

ACT 11: Trejo
“it does give you that validity. It’s like ‘oh ok yeah. Here’s a total stranger and they love what I do,… and you know now they’re asking me where my location is.’ So you know you start to see sort of a demand for it.”

NATS 5: [Sounds of Trejo helping customers. ]

TRACK 11:
NOW IN HER OWN STORE, TREJO IS HAPPY TO BE WAITING ON A STEADY STREAM OF CUSTOMERS. SOME DAYS SHE HAS TO CLOSE EARLY, TELLING HER FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS SHE RAN OUT OF GOODS FOR THE DAY. THIS GIVES HER HOPE THAT SWEET ADDICTION BAKERY CAN BUILD THE KIND OF LOYAL FOLLOWING ENJOYED BY SEVERAL LONG-TIME, MOM-AND-POP FOOD SPOTS ON PIEDRAS STREET.

ACT 13: Trejo
“My hope is that the neighborhood embraces us as sort of like a neighborhood go-to place. You know like very much like Kiki’s or Gussies or like Papa Burgers, like you know those are places that have been here forever and it kind of goes through, like, generations.”

TRACK 12:
TREJO’S TRUCK IS PARKED BEHIND THE BAKERY. SHE HOPED TO USE IT FOR CATERING EVENTS, BUT IS TOO BUSY KEEPING UP WITH THE DEMAND AT THE STORE. FOR NOW, SHE’LL LET THE CUSTOMERS COME TO HER.

TRACK 13: (:03)
FROM EL PASO, I’M NICOLE MADRID.

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Categories: Local Blogs

Book Review: Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall, by Daniel Chacón

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 1:14pm

 

By Lucrecia Guerrero

Kafka in a Skirt, Daniel Chacon’s most recent collection of short stories, opens with a bang that lights up a corner of the existential darkness, but only enough to make us wonder if indeed there is nothing, nada.

“In the Closet,” one of the numerous flash fiction pieces in the book, gives us an adolescent protagonist who has been ordered by his mother to clean that “chingadera” out of his closet. He tells the reader that even though he got down on his knees to search his closet, he “didn’t know what [he] was looking for, but [he] somehow knew [he] would spend the rest of [his] life looking for it.”

I read somewhere that it’s often said that readers read to gain insight into others but that, in fact, readers read to gain insight into themselves. I suspect there is considerable truth to that. Have not many readers, at some time in their lives, feared that they will spend, or have already spent, most of their lives looking for an elusive and indefinable something?

Still, we continue to search, as do the characters in this collection. And just as human behavior is often contradictory so is the behavior of these story characters. Often, they live behind walls of their own making, yet they reach out, create a hole in the wall through which they can make human contact.

The man in “A Nice Baguette” lives alone behind the brick and mortar wall of his apartment. He is safe in his solitary self-confinement. And yet he chooses to eat his meal in front of a window he opens wide to the busy street beyond. He wants his existence to be acknowledged while being left alone. Except when he may occasionally have the need for communion and breaks bread with a passerby on the other side.

The walls in the stories are usually not, however, brick and mortar. They are, as in life, ethnic and racial stereotypes, sexual inhibitions, geography, technology, or any number of other ways walls can be built to keep one in a cocoon, and safe from the existential unknown.

In one of the collection’s funniest stories (Chacón has a wickedly absurd sense of humor) “Furry Spider,” a young couple lives in a technologically smart house, high in the hills above El Paso. The wife works away from home; the husband, a techie, works from home. In his smart fortress, he is isolated from life’s ugliness. Except for the spiders. The spiders he ferociously fears. Oh, and then there’s Bacon the cat who insists on dropping spiders on the chest of our protagonist in the middle of the night. But is this reality or is the protagonist merely seeing pink elephants? Or cracking from the lack of human connection?

This story made me think about my own walls, and it made me laugh out loud. “Furry Spider” will stick with me.

Those familiar with the talented Daniel Chacón’s other works will already know that he’s quite comfortable in a post-modern Kafka world. Kafka in a Skirt continues in that vein. This collection of stories will not disappoint.

 

Click hear to read Book Review: Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall, by Daniel Chacón

Categories: Local Blogs

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

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 10:16pm

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.

Children in 2018

The share of the U.S. non-Hispanic white population has fallen since the mid-20th century.

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of white children fell by 2.8 million, or 7.1%. In contrast, nonwhite children grew by 6.1%.

In 2018, the last year for which data are currently available, the proportion of people in the U.S. under 18 years of age was just barely more white than nonwhite.

However, children under 11 were more nonwhite than white.

In almost one-third of U.S. states, nonwhite children outnumber all white children under 18 in 14 states – including Nevada, Hawaii, Georgia and Maryland – plus the District of Columbia.

Nonwhite children currently outnumber white children ages 0 to 4 in these 15 states and in Louisiana. In the next few years, the same will be true in North Carolina, Illinois and Virginia, followed a little later by Connecticut and Oklahoma.

In the coming decades, the percentage of all white children will drop – from 49.8% in 2020 to 36.4% in 2060.

A growing trend

Why will white children become the numerical minority?

We draw on the insights of demographer Kenneth Johnson and his colleagues to understand this trend.

First, the declining number of white children reflects the significant aging of the white population.

Whites in the U.S. have a median age of 43.6, much higher than those of all other racial or ethnic groups. Latinos, in particular, are much younger, with a median age of 29.5.

Slightly more than one-fifth of whites are age 65 and older, while elders account for only about one-tenth of nonwhites. Indeed, today in the U.S. there are more white elders than white children.

The older age of whites is mainly due to fewer white births than white deaths.
Between July 2017 and July 2018, there were 0.88 white births in the U.S. for every 1 white death. In the case of Latinos, the ratio was 5 births for every 1 death.

Whites also have lower fertility rates than most other racial and ethnic groups.

Even if white women increased their fertility levels, their actual numbers of births would not go up that much, because there is a shrinking number of white women of childbearing age.

Only 41% of white women aged 15 and older are in the childbearing ages of 15 to 44, when most births occur, compared to 57% of nonwhite women.

What the future holds

In the coming decades, people of color will have an increasing presence in all U.S. institutions, in higher education, the workforce and the electorate.

Americans are already seeing the consequences of these demographic shifts in higher education. Between 2009 and 2017, the number of white undergraduate students in the U.S. dropped by 1.7 million, while the number of Latino undergraduates rose by 1.1 million.

In addition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections show that, between 2014 and 2024, the white share of the civilian labor force is declining, while the share of nonwhites is estimated to rise.

Furthermore, people of color will increasingly be part of the voter rolls and slates of political office seekers in the coming decades.

Despite these expected changes, one thing is certain. The white population is not going to disappear. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that whites will still be the largest racial or ethnic group, accounting for 44.3% of the nation’s population in 2060 and outnumbering Latinos, the second largest group, by 67.9 million.

The reality is that whites will not dominate demographically as they have throughout most of U.S. history, when they accounted for as much as 90% of the country’s population. Roughly speaking, the share of the U.S. white population in 2060 will be the same as it is now in Las Vegas, about 44%.

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

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

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Categories: Local Blogs

Entrepreneurial spirit flourishes at El Paso’s farmers markets

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 9:48pm

Farmers markets in El Paso provide not only local produce, arts and entertainment, they also bring entrepreneurial opportunities.

Mother and daughter, Mary Maskill and Arianna Romero, operate Pretty in Lemon, a lemonade stand that can be seen at nearly every farmer and artist market location.

“I’ve always wanted to open a business. It’s been a dream of mine to open my own business. It’s awesome to be your own boss,” said Romero, whose parents helped her open the lemonade and simple syrup stand.

Maskill shares her daughter’s space with her own business called Pretty in Paper. She says her husband hopes to one day open a hot dog or bratwurst stand.

“He said ‘maybe we can be right next to each other and you can sell the drinks and I sell the food,’ she said. “Hopefully one day that will happen.”

There are farmers markets on Fridays at Fountains at Farrah, Saturdays at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, Saturdays Downtown, and Sundays at the Hobby Lobby in the Upper Valley.

Romero said the hardest part of selling at markets throughout the weekend is getting the booth set up.

“You can show how proud you are of your business by how it looks and how you present yourself. But we move our store everywhere, so we pick up everything. We pick up the tables, the water, everything. Hauling it back and forth is heavy work,” she said.

Harold Shumate is a honey producer with New Mexico Desert Farm who sells honey made by local bees.

“The honey comes from different flowers. I have my bees where I have at least 100 acres of just those flowers, so the bees will only go to those flowers. That’s the way I can control what kind of honey I get. I have mesquite honey from mesquite bushes, Palo Verde, alfalfa, catclaw, cotton, rose,” Shumate said.

He cautions shoppers to know how to tell they’re getting the real thing.

“If the honey doesn’t taste like the flower it comes from, it’s not real. All honey comes from a flower, so it must taste like the flower it comes from. If it’s only sweet, you just bought corn syrup,” he said.

He also touts the benefits of honey.

“The honey itself has lots of good properties. Honey will heal a cut faster than anything you can buy in stores. Honey has natural antibiotics, enzymes, folic acid, tremendous amount of benefits raw honey has.”

Two years ago, Shumate began selling CBD oil in addition to honey.

“A lot of people are buying CBD oil as a way to manage pain,” he said.

He isn’t a reseller of the CBD oil, but makes his own.

“I have a lab report from a third-party so you know exactly what you are getting. There are so many people out here selling CBD oil, it’s unbelievable. All they do is buy it, resell it, or put a different label on it and resell it. They don’t know what’s in it, they don’t know their quality, they don’t know how much is really there or not,” he said.

Max Rapaport sells melons, chilis, and other produce at farmers markets for Grow Wild at Sierra Vista Growers.

“I used to be a chef for many years in Colorado where the market culture was very strong, the farm-to-table movement. In my background, I worked in a lot of restaurants where all of the food that we use, as far as produce, was grown within 100 miles of our restaurant. When I moved here, I was hard pressed to find a good market culture with fresh vegetables fresh produce, organically grown and responsibly harvested,” he said.

Rappaport started gardening in his back yard, then “I found Sierra Vista Growers where I started selling house plants, trees, everything that we have there, flowers. From there it kind of grew organically to what you see here.”

In addition to sales, the farmers market culture appeals to vendors.

“I enjoy making the drinks,” Romero said. “I enjoy making the lemonade, but my favorite part is the people. Oh my goodness, so many sweet people and so many friends that we make by doing this. It’s awesome how this community supports each other.”

Maskill agreed.

“My nephew told me one time, ‘You guys are lucky because you guys are actually doing what you’ve always wanted to do’ so it’s a privilege to be able to, maybe not become rich but be happy. We love meeting people, we have made a lot of friendships.”

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Categories: Local Blogs

Ex-convicts use Real Talk program to put El Paso youth on better path

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 9:17pm

A motivation program for children and teens called Real Talk that features conversations with felons and individuals convicted of crimes recently launched in El Paso. The project goal is to steer borderland children and teens away from dangerous lifestyles by getting them to engage in honest and open conversations with former convicts about the dangers of drug abuse, gang life, and crime.

“The ultimate goal is to try and save as many kids as we can,” said Real Talk founder Sheree D. Corniel who launched the first project in Las Vegas in 2013.

Corniel, who has 20 years of experience working in law enforcement as a U.S. probation officer and juvenile parole officer, said she hopes to launch additional branches of Real Talk at cities across the U.S. El Paso is the second Real Talk location.

Even before the program’s official launch next month, Julian Morales, whose hard work and perseverance helped bring the non-profit program to the Sun City, and other Real Talk presenters have visited local middle and high schools to promote the program to students and parents. They also held a special event at Cesar Chavez Academy, a local school for at-risk students.

Presentations with ex felons are a a major feature of Real Talk. Former felons share their life stories, talk about how they became involved in a gang or in crime and urge youth to stay on the right path. The former felons’ crimes vary from murder, robbery, driving while intoxicated and other brushes with the law.

“We want to be a beacon of hope for the felons that are coming out, raising their hand, wanting to do something positive,” said Morales, who spent more than a decade in prison for a drug crime and other felonies.

He added that believes bringing the program to his home city will help save the youth who are on the same destructive path that he went down and provide them positive alternatives such as after school activities to keep them busy and off the streets.

Born and raised in El Paso, Morales said he learned about the Las Vegas program and after numerous calls to Corniel she agreed to allow him to open a branch in his home city if he first obtained permission to open a non profit. Morales received the legal permission last January.

Real Talk EP is open to children ages 8 to 18 and consists of three initial classes at the Southwest University Auditorium, on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m.

Parents attend the first class with their children and participate in discussions with a parenting group, while the youth attend their first Real Talk session.

Although parents are not required to attend every time, the children and teens who join the program must be accompanied by an adult every time.

Real Talk sessions consist of a female and two males offenders. During the sessions, they share their stories with youth in hope that their personal examples will keep them from making the same mistakes. Individuals who have been charged with any kind of sexual assault or child endangerment are excluded from participating.

Real Talk EP presenters and volunteers during a presentation at Cesar Chavez Academy in El Paso, Texas on October 9th, 2019.

In 2017 there were 400 reported felonies committed by juveniles from the ages of 10 to 16 in El Paso County. The number increased to 465 in 2018, according to the website epcounty.com. Over 100 of the felonies committed by juveniles in 2018 were for burglary and 58 were categorized as drug offenses.

In addition to participating in the conversations and receiving guidance, students and parents who meet the requirements can apply for a monthly stipend of $150 to use for after school programs or STEM projects, sports equipment, or time in a recording studio.

To qualify for the stipend a participant must have at least a 2.0 grade point average, the parent has to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours a year, and the youth has to volunteer a minimum of two hours a month by helping out at Real Talk events.

All young people ages 8 to 18 are eligible to participate in the Real Talk program, not just those considered at risk. The program is also open to students who excel in school but may not have funds to participate in extracurricular activities.

For more information contact Real Talk EP at (915) 253-9865 or by email at info@realtalkep.org. You can also follow them on Facebook by searching for Real Talk EP or visiting the website at www.realtalkep.org

 

 

 

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Categories: Local Blogs

Growing up along with the rise of emojis and gifs

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 9:13pm

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.

What started out as a handful of simple acronyms like LOL (laughing out loud) or BRB (be right back) has now turned into an alphabet soup of words and letters that can seem more like Morse Code than conversation.

“This new variant of written English strives to convey what body language, and tone and volume of voice can achieve in spoken English,” Dr Lauren Fonteyn, English Linguistics lecturer at the University of Manchester told Mashable.

Back in my early days it seemed like sparking up a conversation was as simple as “Hi, how are you.” Language was more simple, formal, and understandable. When I look back and compare to how conversations went, it feels language lacked emotion. Nowadays, writing in all caps exudes more emotion than the simple exclamation mark that was used before.

Over time, it seemed all the cool kids and trendy people came up with unique ways to create a spunkier way of talking, whether that be through a note being passed to a friend in class, or an AOL dial-up chatroom.

Keeping up with all these changes takes a lot of work. I clearly remember scavenging through the web trying to figure out what on earth “being skinny” meant, only to find out it didn’t only mean being physically slim, but also meant being iconic. Or, the first time my friends asked me to spill the tea. No, they weren’t asking me to spill actual tea made out of actual tea leaves, but to spill any good gossip I had.

 

Another trend that has slowly taken over is meme and gif responses. Sometimes, it isn’t right to just respond with, “omg I am speechless.” Instead use a meme.

The uses of memes and gifs, even emojis, have made the language we use through technology quicker, funnier, and more modern.

At the first international workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media, known as Emoji2018, researchers gathered to show how emoji and other forms of modern communication are changing the way we communicate online. According to Instagram, “by 2015, more than half of all comments on Instagram posts included at least one emoji.”

Although there is a right time and place to use this informal medium, using too much of this internet language and conversation can lead to having a casual attitude toward grammar.

The language on social media can hinder your way of having a decent and normal conversation. Join a spelling bee or read the dictionary once in a while, you’ll find that most internet slang and conversations lack punctuality, correct syntax, and other communication tragedies.

If you feel you’re left out of this bubble, don’t fret, Urbandictionary.com is your friend. If there’s anything you want to know that just has you in complete confusion, there are plenty of online dictionaries that can help you stay trendy and be one of “those” people.

Click hear to read Growing up along with the rise of emojis and gifs

Categories: Local Blogs

How border journalism learned the value of Spanish and local reporters

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 11:20am

A conversation with father and son journalists in El Paso. Aaron Bracamontes, digital content director for KTSM 9 News, interviews his father, Ramon, former El Paso Times managing editor, about the not-too-distant past when Hispanics and the Spanish language weren’t reflected in the makeup of the city’s largest newsroom.

Transcript

Aaron Bracamontes:  Me and you have kind of talked about it in the past. The El Paso Times I started at and the El Paso Times I left wasn’t the same El Paso Times that you start at. What was newspaper like here in El Paso when you started ,or just journalism in El Paso at the time?

Ramon Bracamontes:  Journalism in El Paso, a long time ago, was an amazing, an amazing competitive career. There were two newspapers in El Paso. The El Paso Herald Post, which published every afternoon, published every day except Sundays. And then the El Paso Times, who I worked for, was the competition.

And it was, we were housed in the same building with only a hallway dividing us. And it was competition to beat them in the stories. It was competition to get the story first, competition to get the investigation first. And it was a badge of honor every day if you could scoop your fellow police reporter. And it was great.

The other big difference now that, from back then to now, is that the El Paso Times was considered a major newspaper in Texas, in the United States. It’s still a major newspaper, but the difference is we used to cover the Olympics, we used to go cover the Super Bowl. We used to go cover national events. If there was an earthquake in Mexico City, we would get eight reporters, put them in an airplane and send them down to Mexico City to cover the earthquake. We did what big newspapers do now.

Because of the El Paso Times I’ve been able to see the world. I went, I was sent to Cuba to interview Fidel Castro, when he was in his prime in the ‘80s. I was sent to Europe to do stories out of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. I’ve been all over the country and all over the world because of my journalism and because the El Paso Times wanted to cover national and worldwide events, not just local, local, local.

Aaron Bracamontes: And it was Gannett back then, right?

Ramon Bracamontes: It was owned by Gannett. Yes

Aaron Bracamontes:  So speaking Spanish was a huge advantage for going down to Cuba and southern countries south of us, right?

Ramon Bracamontes:  Yes. The big advantage back then was Gannett was tied to the starting and the formation of USA Today and USA Today wanted to compete with the national newspapers. But, instead of hiring a staff of 500 people, they would rely on local reporters. And for a while for Gannett and for USA Today I was the unofficial, central South America correspondent for USA Today. It means anything that happened from south of El Paso all the way to Argentina, I would be sent to help with the news.

Aaron Bracamontes:  I think you’ve kind of one time mentioned, I mean, when I was at El Paso Times a year ago, there was Bracamontes, there was Martinez, there was Gonzalez, there was Borunda, there were a lot of, you know, a lot of Hispanic surnames. Was it like that back when you started? Or was it, I guess, did it represent El Paso as much?

Ramon Bracamontes:  When I started at the El Paso Times, it was 1984. The majority of the editors and the majority of the reporters did not speak Spanish. They didn’t think there was much of a need or value in somebody being able to speak Spanish. It has totally changed now. Everybody speaks Spanish.  Even the editors now, who didn’t use to speak Spanish, learned it, appreciated it and are moving now.

But the biggest misconception back then was that the reporters the El Paso Times hired to cover Juarez, were people that learned Spanish and learned about the Mexican culture and about the Hispanics, they learned it in universities away from the border. It was never a reporter who was born and raised in El Paso who knew Juarez like the back of their hand, just like they knew El Paso, like the back of their hand.

And that was the thing that I, and other editors as we moved up and got older. moved to change. We wanted natives from Juarez covering Juarez, we wanted natives from El Paso and Juarez covering both cities. And because of a lot of great editors the Times has had, starting with Paula Moore and Tom Fenton and Don Flores and Bob Moore. The culture there at the Times now is a lot of Spanish speaking and Spanish speaking is very much valued. It wasn’t in 1984.

It’s just amazing how life has changed. Back then speaking Spanish, being Hispanic was considered a negative and you had to work twice as hard to move up. Now if you speak Spanish, if you’re a minority, it’s seen as a positive and it’s, it’s a good thing to be able to speak both languages.

Aaron Bracamontes:  As you saw that change, what was it like? Did it feel like it was always heading in that direction or did it feel like it was a fight to get to that direction? Or did it feel like it was just a slow change?

Ramon Bracamontes:    It was a very slow change too, because it wasn’t just in the newsroom. It was happening throughout El Paso in the leadership. I remember that when I started in 1984, all the superintendents as a school district were Anglo – didn’t speak Spanish. Most of the elected officials except for maybe one in city council, were Anglo, not Hispanic. And most of the elected officials, the county attorney, the district attorney, were all Anglo – didn’t speak Spanish.

And I don’t know what year it was, but it was before 1990, it changed. All of a sudden, Jose Rodriguez became the county attorney and he spoke Spanish. Jaime Esparza became the district attorney, he spoke Spanish. A gentleman named Trujillo was named the superintendent in Ysleta School District and he spoke Spanish. Stan Paz was named the superintendent in the El Paso School District, and he spoke Spanish. So it took a long time, but in retrospect, it happened over night. All of a sudden you woke up and almost every other elected official was Hispanic. Almost every elected official spoke Spanish regardless of what their heritage was. And then the school districts were led by Hispanic speaking people, Hispanic people who spoke Spanish.

It hasn’t happened anywhere as fast as in El Paso, but in El Paso, it was a twofold. Because, and I don’t remember the years, it must’ve been the late eighties, early nineties, when we at the Times were experimenting about using Spanish words, maybe having a Spanish section, throwing in a Spanish word in the headline, throwing in a quote in Spanish. People were mad in El Paso at the El Paso Times for doing that. And we stopped.

But the reason we stopped and what really surprised me and others was that the people who got the most upset about seeing Spanish in the newspaper were Spanish speakers or Hispanics. And they said “I came here to learn English. I came here to become a part of the United States. I came here to acclimate myself. I want to read in English, I want to speak in English. I don’t need you putting Spanish in my daily newspaper in El Paso.” And I think that was why we pulled the plug on that experiment in the- I don’t know if it was the late eighties, early nineties, but we stopped putting Spanish in the El Paso Times. Instead, we went to a section by itself, delivered to certain neighborhoods.

Aaron Bracamontes:  One of the things that you always kinda told me that I still say today to reporters and editors is the reminder that as journalists, as much as we want to say we rough it sometimes, we still do live in the ivory tower because we have direct access to elected officials. We have direct access to CEOs.

But a big part of that, what you always tried to instill me, was know what the neighborhood says. And El Paso it was always kind of knowing the neighborhoods in El Paso, knowing the regular people who take their kids to games who, you know, go eat at the hole in the wall Mexican joints and knowing what they feel is the pulse of the city is a huge part of covering this town. How important was that? Or was bringing El Paso to El Paso through news. How important was that for you?

Ramon Bracamontes: That was always very important. Always very important. And I’ve been lucky that the editors that I worked for, gave me a seat at the table and they at least heard me when I said crazy things or things that I thought made sense. And one of the things I always pushed for was that we need, the El Paso Times and all the journalists, all the TV stations here, needed more Spanish speakers. More Spanish speakers, more Spanish speakers. And native El Pasoans are the way to go because El Paso is a different city.

I spent some time in Reno, I spent some time in Tucson. I spent time in Washington, D C, and El Paso is just a very different city, that is, I guess a small town in lots of respects. So you need the people that can relax and interview somebody’s grandma and interview somebody who is struggling to open a new store, a new shop, and a new little restaurant. And you need to bring those people forward because they have something to bring them to the table and you can learn from them. Others can learn from them by talking to them.

I am super, super competitive. So when I walked into the newsroom as a young kid out of UTEP and there were great reporters there, like David Landis and Gary Scharrer, or Ramon Renteria and David Crowder, who had been there awhile. My goal, and I would tell them, is that ‘I’m going to be your boss and I’m going to be better than you.’ So I learned from them and I learned how to do good stories. I learned from the editors who were helping me write stories like Ben Keck and John Moore and Dan Elliott. I observed them from all, I observed Nan Kick. I observed Kate Gannon, Bob Moore. And my goal was to take what they had and take my street instincts and my Lower Valley raising and my Spanish influence and mesh those things together. And I think I was able to do that, which is why  I was promoted real fast. I was sent around the world to talk to people. I mean, they, no matter what happened, if they needed somebody to go fast and mobile and get somewhere, it would be me.

It helped me get to where I wanted to get. I mean, there was one story when, a bunch of people from Aguascalientes, Mexico came to El Paso. They crossed the border illegally. They were put in a train in a boxcar and they were going to go to Dallas. The boxcar got stuck outside of Tornillo in 105 degree weather. And within a couple of hours, all 29 people in that boxcar died.

When they were sending them back home, I was going to – when they were putting them in caskets and sending them back home-  I was at the Juarez airport and I was doing the story. All I had was maybe 5 dollars in my pocket and a notebook. And one of the airplanes that was taking the caskets back, and the pilot, and it was the mayor or the governor of Aguascalientes. He had an extra seat in his little plane in his – I don’t know what kind of plane it was, it was small. And I said, is anybody going in there? Can I get in there? And I said it in Spanish and I said it real friendly and he said, “Yes, come on in.”

So I just got in the plane and I went to their hometown, which was in the mountains in Aguascalientes. Didn’t have a hotel room, didn’t have a credit card, didn’t have money. Didn’t have anything. But once when I got there, I befriended a family and said, ‘I have nowhere to stay. I am- I don’t know anybody in this town. I don’t have a hotel there’s no hotels here.” And they said, stay in our house. You can have the sofa, you can stay here. They fed me three times a day and I was able to send stories back every time.

So it was my street smarts, my Hispanic heritage that helped me get that. But then it was the journalism training that I got from Gannett and from my peers that would make me, that made me successful. That was able to mesh both of them.

 

Click hear to read How border journalism learned the value of Spanish and local reporters

Categories: Local Blogs

Cross-border romance led to marriage on international bridge

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 11:14am

La historia de una pareja separada por su situación migratoria. Sandra Lopez se regreso a Juárez después de descubrir que estaba viviendo indocumentada en Estados Unidos. Ella conoció a su esposo, Rodolfo, un ciudadano Americano, por internet. Ambos recuerdan cómo fue desarrollando su relación.

Translation: This is the story of a couple separated by their immigration status. Sandra Lopez returned to Juarez after discovering that she was living undocumented in the United States. She met her husband, Rodolfo, an American citizen, online. Both recall how their relationship developed.

Transcript (translated):

Introduction: The universities of UTEP and UACJ have collaborated this summer to gather stories from both sides of the border. Today we have the story of a couple separated by their immigration status. Sandra Lopez returned to Juarez after discovering that she was living undocumented in the United States. She met her husband, Rodolfo, an American citizen, online. Both recall how their relationship developed.  

Rodolfo: When did you find out that you were undocumented?

Sandra: I realized it when I was going to graduate from high school. That’s where it hit me. My counselor called me to say “hey, we have scholarships that they want to give you.” Ah, how fun, I said, How cool. But then he said, “but do you have Social Security?” And that’s when I was like, what is that? And that’s when I said “oops.” I wanted to continue studying, I wanted to study to be a judge.

Rodolfo: How were your first weeks, months living in Juarez?

Sandra: It was horrible because I came to a country I didn’t know. With no one to give you support, without knowing anything, and now what do I do? Where will I go to look for work? And I thank God that Sanborn’s was the one who gave me the opportunity. The manager told me, the amount you earned in the United States does not compare to here. The first time I grabbed my check, tears even rolled. Wow, I earned this in a single week. A whole week working hard. And earn $55 a week.

Sandra: Tell me about the first time we met.

Rodolfo: She brought her mother to the bridge. I bought flowers and brought my guitar. And I crossed.

Sandra: And what did my mom call you?

Rodolfo: Oh, Antonio Banderas. Because I arrived with the guitar and the flowers.

Sandra: I made you chile rellenos with rice and beans and there I was, cooking, and making everything look good and boom I ran out of gas. And I said, “what now?” I quickly called, because there where I lived I had an aunt who lived there, so I called her. “Aunt, you know what, this this and that…” “No mija, come here and we’ll make the chiles rellenos here so they are ready.” Well, there I go with my aunt, with pans and everything walking in the street to go and make the chiles rellenos. I prepared him a romantic dinner.

Sandra: When did you realize that you fell in love with me?

Rodolfo: Well, I remember talking to you and feeling sad to get to El Paso and not be able to visit you. You caught my attention, I needed you. 

Rodolfo: And where did we get married?

Sandra: Well, on the bridge.

Rodolfo: On the Santa Fe bridge.

Sandra: It was a totally unforgettable experience. Everyone looked at me weird. Just like, “Ah look, there’s a bride.” Well, I was already very nervous to walk all over the street and then go up to the bridge and then pay the booth. And then when I was arriving, it felt like eternity to get to the middle of the bridge. Finally, when he stretched his hand I relaxed. There, I’m safe. 

Rodolfo: What was the most difficult part of our relationship?

Sandra: Well, the separation. The separation that you are there and I am here.

Rodolfo: Still, right now?

Sandra: Even now that has always been the saddest part of our relationship. Not being able to be with you every night.

Rodolfo: And what are your plans for the future?

Sandra: I want to be able to fix my immigration status, to be able to go there and be with you. Of course we want to live as a family, as every normal family lives wherever they are together.

Click hear to read Cross-border romance led to marriage on international bridge

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut