El Segundo Barrio

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, March 30, 2007

The area of the city that lies between the central downtown and the border itself is called El Segundo Barrio, a poor neighborhood that's quite Mexican in nature. We may want to locate here if we return here in the fall to live, which we think we'll do. So we took our own walking tour through it.

Right now, there's a city revitalization plan on the table in El Paso which could call for using eminent domain to repossess land from current owners and bring in major retailers like WalMart and Target. This would dislocate many people who currently reside in this area in numerous apartment complexes. It could affect many of the poorest of the poor, living in shelters in El Paso, since this area is home to several shelters.

Sacred Heart Church is a major actor in uniting and advocating for the poor of this area. We visited its restaurant/tortillaria. We walked by the new women's shelter: Villa Maria, just opened since we've been in town. We also got a great short tour through the Agricultural Workers Union Shelter. This union of farm workers sleeps between 100-200 farmworkers on the linoleum floor of their main room, a place smaller than the new shelter in our home town of Dubuque that was zoned for 30. We were really impressed with the work of this union, so I'll give it more space in tomorrow's entry.
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Where I stayed
Vista Sol Apartments
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