a town outside Juarez, Mexico
I lived out in the west Texas town of El Paso for the first fourteen years of my life. It is a border town situated next to one of the crime capitals of the world, Juarez, Mexico, but back then it was a weekend trip destination to drink sugary Mexican cokes and shop for cheap shoes.
When I moved to San Antonio the summer before freshman year, I was surprised at how subtly different the culture was here in S.A. compared to my desert homeland. The change was most evident in the food: instead of burritos you got tacos, instead of red enchiladas you got brown enchiladas, instead of gigantic tamales that cost a few dollars per dozen you got an expensive bag of finger food tamales. To a Border-Mexican, S.A. seemed like a watered down, TexMex version of the true Hispanic culture. Sure, the city waved its fiesta flags and sold itchy wool ponchos downtown, but it didn’t have the flavor or the sound of a true Mexican settlement.
My opinion has changed over the years. Instead of seeing a runny version of Latin life, I see a vibrant, soupy, menudo of culture. The ingredients include, yes, my Mexican heritage, but also German, Indian, Native American, Vietnamese, Cowboys, ect. All sorts of people have gathered to this very city and their varying lifestyles rolled together to create an interesting city culture unique in its composition.