Juarez is the best part of El Paso. Juarez is easy to get to, just a short walk from downtown El Paso across the pedestrian bridge. The people are warm and friendly. The food is delicious. Some days when I come back from Juarez my face hurts from smiling so much.
In Mexico, Juarez is culturally significant. The Latin American musical icon Juan Gabriel began his career singing in the city’s cantinas. Comic actor Tin Tan, who popularized the zoot suit for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the forties, is also a favorite son.
Juarez is historic. The city was founded in 1659, when the Franciscan missionary Fray Garcia began construction of the Misión de Guadalupe, which still stands in downtown. Juarez functioned as the capital of Mexico twice. The 1910 Battle of Juarez resulted in the exile of the despot president Porfirio Díaz. In the ensuing civil war known as the Mexican Revolution, noted bandit and revolutionary Pancho Villa captured Juarez twice.
Prohibition was a huge boon for Juarez, as thirsty Americans crossed the border to legally imbibe. A second boom struck the city after World War II, when American soldiers returned to Fort Bliss. In the seventies when Baby Boomers came of age, another wave of revelers encouraged the development of more entertainment infrastructure.
But gradually, and for a variety of reasons, things changed. The United States became increasingly difficult to re-enter. Mexico was declared off-limits for soldiers at Fort Bliss. Well publicized waves of violence dissuaded casual tourism.
Without the support of American tourists, the Juarez entertainment scene moved to other parts of the city. Downtown storefronts became dental clinics and optometrists and pharmacies.
I’ve been going to Juarez since the 1960s, when my dad would drive across the bridge every week to buy Cokes. As I got older, my interests changed, but my love for Mexico never wavered.
Downtown Juarez is big and varied enough that you can have it your way. Fine dining? Okay, (but maybe not too fine). Street food? Yup. Cantinas? For sure. Shopping? We can do that. We can fine tune the downtown Juarez experience to suit your fancy, all while exploring the history and culture of this modern border city.
I love Juarez and I want you to love it, too. And I know you will, if you let me show it to you. I want your face to hurt from smiling so much.
Call me at 915.820.1628, or send an email to email@example.com, to schedule the highlight of your vacation.
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Click here to read about Juarez Walking Tour in what passes for the news these days.
So vamanos. Let’s go to Juarez!