My name is Rich Wright.
I’ve been giving history and culture walking tours of historic downtown Juarez since 2015.
The city now known as Ciudad Juarez was named El Paso del Norte when it was founded by Catholic missionaries in 1657. El Paso del Norte was an important stop on the Camino Real de la Interior, which linked the mining towns of northern New Mexico to Mexico City.
When France’s Napoleon III installed his nephew Maximilian as emperor of Mexico in 1863, the Mexican president Benito Juarez moved his government in exile to El Paso del Norte. Mexico changed the name of El Paso del Norte to Ciudad Juarez in 1888.
Ciudad Juarez was the cradle of the Mexican Revolution. The first battle of Juarez in 1911 led to the exile of authoritarian president Porfirio Diaz. Two more battles in Juarez (among many others in most of Mexico over the course of ten years) finally settled the question of ascension.
Pancho Villa was a key player in the Mexican revolution and the three Battles of Juarez.
The United States prohibition of the sale of alcohol in 1919 brought economic relief to the war ravaged city as Americans came from all over the United States to get legal drinks in the numerous bars that sprang up to quench American thirsts.
All of these events left their mark on historic downtown Juarez, if you know where to look.
With 1.5 million residents, Juarez is currently the fifth biggest in Mexico. Juarez has been home to Mexican cultural icons Tin Tan and Juan Gabriel, may they rest in peace.
I’ve been giving tours of downtown Juarez since 2015, but I’ve been going to Juarez since the 1960s. My dad would drive over every week to get cases of coke (in this part of the country we call it all coke, even if it’s orange Fanta), and when I got old enough to drive myself, Juarez was my destination of choice.
I’ve got more personal anecdotes about Juarez than I can tell in an afternoon, and I’m happy to share.
People liked the tours I gave in 2015, but the tours are better now.
Juarez used to be a popular tourist destination, 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.
But if you know where you’re going, Downtown Juarez can still be a lot of fun.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule the highlight of your vacation.
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So vamanos. Let’s go to Juarez!