El Paso – a Lively Piece of Mexico in Texas
If you like killing two birds with one stone, El Paso is the place for you. This town in the southwest of Texas adjacent to Mexico – and this is reflected in the everyday urban life everywhere resist.
In El Paso you can experience Texas and in El Paso you can just as easily experience Mexico; just as you like it. What unites both worlds here is on the one hand the beautiful weather and on the other hand the interesting landscape that awaits hikers, explorers and adventurers right on the outskirts of the city. Culture, nature and urban life shake hands in El Paso, making the city an ideal travel destination for people who want to experience a lot on vacation.
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A safe city with above-average young residents
Anyone who arrives in El Paso will notice immediately: This Texan city is lively, its residents are extremely young and fond of children. Around three quarters of a million people live in almost the immediate vicinity of Mexico, the vast majority of them are of Spanish or Mexican descent. The city may not be “rich” in the classic sense, but it is certainly affluent. The economic power comes from companies that are active in the healthcare sector, from call centers, but also from low-wage factories that employ predominantly Mexican workers. There is also a large US military base in El Paso, which also gives the city a lot of income. For locals, but also for tourists, the security aspect is crucial. While drug and gang wars complicate everyday life in Mexico, El Paso is spared of this – despite the geographical proximity. In fact, the city is considered one of the safer metropolitan areas even among major US cities. So here you can enjoy not only Texas but also Mexico in a relaxed and carefree way.
Like in a western: shimmering heat, prairie, cacti and a robust nightlife
El Paso spreads on the north bank of the Rio Grande. From there you go straight into a landscape that is exactly as you know it from countless cowboy films. At least ten months of the year it is hot and dry there and it looks accordingly on the prairie. Rugged rock, barren vegetation, huge cacti. Watch out, John Wayne could ride around the corner at any moment! For tours in this part of Texas El Paso is the ideal starting point. But the city is just as suitable as a location for anyone for whom the night is not just for sleeping. Ciudad Juarez, which is known for its typical Mexican, but also international restaurants, is located just across the border with Mexico. And after dinner it’s off to the bars, the discos.
Attractions in El Paso
When the Spanish began to colonize the El Paso area in the 17th century, they first built missions. The Ysleta Mission (131, Zaragoza Street) is the oldest surviving mission station in the city, which is actually in use to this day. For the Tigua, a people who had to leave their original area around Albuquerque and join the Spanish, this mission is still a cultural and social center. In July, when the Ysleta Mission Festival is celebrated, there is a lot going on. Thousands of visitors will then be celebrated, music will be made and traditional recipes will be cooked. Delicious!
The main church of the Catholic community, which has around 600,000 members in El Paso, is the Cathedral of Saint Patrick (1118, North Mesa Street). The huge and magnificent building is also definitely worth a visit for Protestants (or followers of other religions). Architecturally a mixture of influences from Byzantium and Florence, the cathedral is decorated with impressive frescoes and statues.
The Plaza Theater (125, Pioneer Plaza) is much more worldly. The huge theater with its 2,400 seats has a glorious past, experienced a decline with the emerging film industry from the fifties and has now been faithfully restored. This is the right place to get a taste of the Broadway atmosphere even in deep Texas. The El Paso Zoo is recommended to everyone who is traveling with children or who are interested in animals. Wild animals from Asia, Africa and all of America have found a new home here. In addition to its successful facility with well over 200 animal species, the zoo also offers multimedia shows several times a day.