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Tag Archives: Duranguito

Sacred Heart Church to Hold Procession Honoring the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Duranguito

Fr. Rafael García, S.J., of Sagrado Corazón Catholic Church will lead a procession honoring the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in solidarity with the vulnerable people of barrio Duranguito tonight at 7 p.m.

The participants will walk, reflect on Scripture and pray the rosary for the safety and well-being of the impacted residents of the neighborhood who have been struggling to maintain their community in the face of evictions and the imminent threat of demolition.

For over a century, Sagrado Corazón Catholic Church has served the people of South El Paso, including Duranguito.

Sagrado Corazón stands with the vulnerable residents of Duranguito, who are typically of low-income and immigrants, as well as for the preservation of historic neighborhoods and architecture in our city. In the words of Pope Francis:

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 19)

The procession will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Firemen’s Memorial Park, 316 West Overland and proceed through the neighborhood. The matachines, Danza del Sagrado Corazón will join the event.

For more information, interested persons can contact Fr. Rafael García, S.J., Associate Pastor and Ministry with Migrant and Refugee Persons, at Sacred Heart Church at 915-532-5447.

Coalition to Preserve Neighborhood Slated for Arena to Present Petition to City Monday

Paso del Sur (PDS), a coalition to preserve Duranguito in Union Plaza, will be submitting over 2,400 signatures to the City of El Paso, in hopes of saving the neighborhood in downtown, slated for demolition for the proposed arena.

The petitions are the result of several weeks of collection and request that a Historic-overlay be established in Duranguito, creating the historic district that the city’s own architectural survey had recommended 19 years ago.

According to the group’s news release, the coalition includes “residents of Barrio Duranguito, the small business owners of El Tiradero Market, Paso del Sur, the El Paso History Alliance, as well as the people of El Paso who stand against the displacement of our communities and the erasure of our history.”

PDS Officials go on to state, “This petition is a direct call by the registered voters of El Paso County to Mayor Oscar Leeser, City Council Representatives Peter Svarzbein, Jim Tolbert, Emma Acosta, Carl L. Robinson, Dr. Michiel Noe, Claudia Ordaz, Lily Limon, Cortney Niland and their successors to designate Duranguito as a historic district and prevent the demolition of El Paso’s first and oldest neighborhood.”

 “The city propaganda machine would have us believe that the fight for Barrio Duranguito has been lost—that there is only one holdout in the neighborhood unwilling to sell. However, with the submission of this petition we will show that the people of El Paso stand firm, in solidarity with the residents and small business owners in Duranguito, calling on the Mayor and City Council Representatives of El Paso to move the arena, not the people.” PDS officials added.

The petition will be submitted to City Clerk Richarda Duffy Momsen at her office Monday afternoon. Officials say that immediately after the petition is turned in, a statement will be given to the media in front of City Hall.

To read our previous coverage of the arena saga, click HERE.  Photo gallery courtesy Jon Eckberg

Save Barrio Duranguito Festival set for Friday

The residents and small vendors of Duranguito invite all El Pasoans to celebrate the rich culture and history of their neighborhood. To that end, the residents have organized a ‘Save Barrio Duranguito Festival.’

There will be activities and cultural workshops for the whole family, food trucks, educational booths, historical walking tours of Duranguito and music from 4 to 10 pm on Friday, May 5th – the day before City elections.

Residents are invited to come listen to son jarocho, Chinese dance performance, an all-women mariachi group, danzantes Aztecas and more. The evening will end with an open air performance by Frontera Bugalú.

When: May 5 from 4 to 10 pm

Where: Mercado Tiradero/Duranguito Arts Market (corner of Paisano and Chihuahua Street)


4:00 Bienvenida and Opening Remarks

4:15 Blessing/Oración Fr. Garcia

Followed by a bilingual Historical Tour (Dr. David Romo & Dr. Max Grossman)

5:00 Danza Azteca Omecoatl

5:30 Performance by the Ai-Hwa Chinese School

6:00 Fandango con Maria, Yahvi, Rubi, and Leo /Dr. Max Grossman

7:00 Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas

7:30 Los Dos, Mexican muralism and resistance

8:00 Spoken word/Poetry

9:30 Los Dos, Mexican muralism and resistance

10:00 Frontera Bugalú

Sen. Rodríguez’s Remarks to City Council on Proposed Multipurpose Arena

The following is the text of the statement read during public comment at Tuesday morning’s El Paso City Council meeting on behalf of state Sen. José Rodríguez:

The City of El Paso is growing. As it does, we consistently are faced with decisions at every level about how to support the growth, how to encourage it, and how to manage it for the benefit of our residents and newcomers.

One way to do that is through quality-of-life investments. Most recently, municipal voters in 2012 gave the City of El Paso permission to sell bonds for almost $500 million in projects. Included in that were more than $200 million for three signature projects.

Those were the Children’s Museum, Hispanic Cultural center, and a multipurpose performing arts and entertainment facility, which was introduced under the heading of “Museum, Cultural, Performing Arts, and Library Facilities.”

El Paso voters gave this permission because they wanted to invest in themselves. I myself was one of them. We wanted quality of life amenities at both the neighborhood level in the form of parks and other amenities, and at the regional level in the form of museums and other cultural facilities.

We still want this. However, we require two things to make it happen the right way.

  • We need to know that these projects will enhance our community, which means respecting the people, places, and history that is so special and unique to El Paso.
  • We need to know that we are getting exactly what we asked for, that there was a process that was consistent, transparent, and inclusive every step of the way.

People did not vote for an arena. They voted for a “multipurpose center” meant for performances and cultural events.

Down to the terms used for the facility, the process has lacked transparency.

The vote to impose the facility on Duranguito was Oct. 18, 2016, only days after a proposed location was announced not by the Mayor or any City Council members but by city staff.

On that day, members of the public were able to see a presentation regarding the site selection for the first time. This presentation was not included as backup on the agenda.  There was conflicting information regarding whether property owners and residents had been contacted, and what they had been told.

There were questions about parking and traffic. There were inconsistent assertions made about efforts to discuss other properties, specifically the railroad; spokesmen for Union Pacific had to clarify incorrect statements made about contacts made with the railroad, and about supposed demands by the railroad for a number of crossings to be closed.

The extent and nature of the facility “footprint” itself, and the impact on surrounding areas has not been clear throughout the process. Neither has the question of federal beautification monies put into the neighborhood not for economic development, but for the residents themselves.

And importantly, there is the question of respect for history. That has been particularly concerning to me. Both the major bodies set up to help restore, protect, and nurture El Paso’s historic neighborhoods voted to oppose the location, as did the City Plan Commission, and the city itself in 1998 called for detailed study and long-term preservation. Yet, the city is moving towards the destruction of an irreplaceable piece of the “First Ward,” part of the first Anson Mills plat map of 1859.

These questions pile on top of the original question – the nature of the facility City Council put forth and the voters approved – and are of such deep concern that I am in support of whatever means may be necessary to stop an irreversible action that will wipe out history and community.

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