El Paso is a bold and diverse metropolitan with a rich, blended history that’s well worth getting to know. History buffs can discover the land’s legacy in Sun City museums, eateries and other attractions, but locals know the most authentic historic encounter is to be had in El Paso’s long-standing communities. Many area neighborhoods date back to the early 1800s and beyond, each offering a distinct perspective on the borderland experience. Though it’s not the city’s first settlement, El Segundo Barrio is a great starting place to discover borderland culture. Located in southernmost El Paso, El Segundo Barrio was settled by Mexican immigrants during the late nineteenth century. And over the decades, El Segundo Barrio has become a valued community not only for its tenure; El Segundo Barrio has a booming, homegrown art scene.
Muralists and street artists borne out of the El Segundo Barrio community have been adorning facades of neighborhood buildings with breathtaking works since the 1970s, creating a unique and captivating open-air museum that both guests and residents can, and do, admire. El Segundo Barrio is host to literally dozens of murals, with more creations decking outward walls every day. The murals collectively represent important themes within the Chicano culture – like family, heritage, resilience, faith, music and community.
The Segundo Barrio mural is an imperative during your walking tour. Completed in 1975 by Arturo Avalos, Gabriel Ortega, Pablo Schaffino and Pascual Ramírez – who were collectively known as Los Muralistas Del Barrio – the Segundo Barrio mural was created as a testament to community pride and Chicano heritage in a period when El Segundo Barrio faced the threat of growing urbanization in Downtown El Paso. A hallmark of the vibrant mural is the use of geometric Aztec design, recalling the culture of origin with which many area residents strongly identify. The Segundo Barrio mural is located at 513 Father Rahm Avenue on the west wall of an apartment complex.
Boys & Girls Club Mural
Werc Alvarez installed this mural on the wall of the Boys and Girls Club at 801 S. Florence in 2012 to depict the youth-led artistic rebirth taking place in the Segundo Barrio community. There’s a compelling verve in the mural that stirs the senses, and the phrase ‘in living color’ is the perfect fit to describe the feat. A rich and saturated spectrum of hues almost literally jumps off the wall at you, encouraging a return to joviality and creativity in the mural-gazers. If you’re feeling sluggish, the Boys and Girls Club mural will definitely jolt you with energy. Of course, there are plenty more mesmerizing murals to set your sights on in El Segundo Barrio; we didn’t want to give them all away here. So head south to El Paso’s second ward, and see the community through the deft paint strokes that don walls of El Segundo Barrio.
Art lovers, history fans and people who like visiting treasured neighborhoods should plan a walking tour through El Paso’s only alfresco art gallery soon. You’ll find a diverse collection of commissioned murals by celebrated artists in the community as well as street pieces, tucked away in corridors like hidden gems, by nameless painters. There’s a bold, beautiful painting around just about every corner in El Segundo Barrio, but here’s three must-see murals to get you started as you traverse the ward’s longstanding streets.
Sacred Heart Mural
Located nearby at 231 Father Rahm Ave, you’ll find the Sacred Heart mural, which was commissioned by the church of its namesake in 2007. Painters Francisco Delgado and Mauricio Olague aided by 50 talented students from Bowie High School combine central icons of the Catholic Faith with symbols and figures that are important to the Segundo Barrio community. The mural is a telling tapestry of immigration hardships, Mexican pride, the contributions of revered religious leaders and more. With so much symbolism, the mural is sure to pull a long, pensive gaze out of all passersby.
Take flight, El Paso! The El Paso Zoo Wildlife Amphitheater is a state-of-the-art facility that will be home a world-renowned free flight bird show, sure to amaze and inspire the El Paso community. Wings of the World shows will begin Saturday, December 17. Shows will take place at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends and 2 p.m. on weekdays.
In addition, the theater will be a place for guests to engage and learn in a whole new way through animal encounters, educational programs, concerts, and much more!
The Wildlife Amphitheater will also be home to the Wings of the World bird show, sponsored by Paul and Alejandra Foster. Wings of the World is a world-renowned free flight bird show and will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Zoo guests to experience the majesty of animals as they swoop, soar, and dive through the air. The show will be led by Joe Krathwohl – known as The Birdman® – who has dedicated himself to the care and preservation of birds and has developed the largest free flight bird show in the world (and the only show featuring trained condors and cassowary!).
The Wildlife Amphitheater is one of the many exciting Quality of Life Bond projects that has now been completed. As part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond program, The El Paso Zoo was approved for $50 million to complete a 10-year master plan that will allow the Zoo to continue to be an engaging place of discovery, a respected center for informal environmental education, a contributor to stewardship-based conservation action – and a destination for great fun!
Get your jingle bells ready and “jungle” all the way … to see SANTA at the ZOO, presented by Neighbors Emergency Center! Santa will be at the Zoo on December 10 and 11, checking on his El Paso toy workshop and ringing in the holiday season with all your favorite Zoo animals! While you’re here, play in the fluffy snow and write your holiday wish list – we’ll mail it directly to the North Pole!
With the year coming to a close, we have our own, short wish list: it is our wish that you had a wonderful year of memories with us here at the El Paso Zoo! Watching Khaleesi turn 1-year old on her Earth Day Birthday, opening the scaly, not scary, new Texas tortoise-shaped Reptile House, introducing you to Pipkin, Acorn, and Big Wig, the new Red River Hogs – sharing and making memories with you is our favorite, during the holidays and every day!
In the spirit of this season of thankfulness and celebration, we want to take a moment to thank you for your continual support of our community Zoo and the El Paso Zoological Society! Because of your support, and the collaboration with the El Paso Zoological Society, we are able to develop meaningful programs and engaging exhibits that promote conservation and cultivate an appreciation for wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Together, we are engaging and inspiring children and families to make a positive impact on the natural world around them.
We have so many new exciting projects and animals coming your way in 2017 and we couldn’t do it without your support! From a thrilling new flighted bird show and state-of-the-art wildlife theater, to new animals, expanded field conservation efforts, and exciting community events, there are so many ways for you to discover – or rediscover – everything that makes the Zoo El Paso’s Most-Visited Family Attraction during the coming year!
Where else in the borderland can a child see, hear, and feel what it’s like to be on the plains of Africa, connecting to wildlife by feeding a giraffe? Where else can a child experience the wonder of being an endangered Sumatran orangutan first-hand? And, this December – where else can a child frolic in the snow before running through the rainforest?
We invite you to join us this holiday season, for an unforgettable celebration with Santa and your WILDEST friends. Santa at the Zoo will feature carolers, special “presents” and holiday enrichment treats for the animals to enjoy, and much more!
For more information, visit www.elpasozoo.org.
El Paso is a slice from the Wild West. El Paso Street, the city’s first and oldest street, is old enough to have seen the likes of Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and others from the lawless days. It was also the street where the infamous “Four Dead In Five Seconds” gunfight took place.
The famous statue at Mount Cristo Rey is not a traditional crucifix of Christ. The palms of Christ face downward as a gesture of a blessing.
The Tigua Indian Reservation Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in El Paso is one of only two Indian reservations in the whole state.
“Ore Diggers” and “Muckers” were some of the names considered for the UTEP teams before they became the beloved “Miners.”
Chico’s Tacos has become synonymous with El Paso. Since serving their famous rolled tacos to the people in El Paso, Chico’s has appeared on the Food Network on shows like, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso used to be the home to alligators in the late 1800s until the 1960s.
One of El Paso’s most famous landmarks is the Plaza Theatre hosting Broadway shows since 1930. Today it hosts the Plaza Classic Film Festival, the largest film festival in the world.
El Paso is the only major city in Texas that is on Mountain Standard Time.
Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban wilderness state park in the country. Visitors have traveled here for years to see the pictograms and mortar pits, which prove its age.
Brew at the Zoo is El Paso’s WILDEST beer festival – with wine and margaritas and more not beer, too! Brew at the Zoo is hosted by the El Paso Zoological Society.
Entertainment will be provided by live local acts including Rockabilly Strangers, Canz to Windows, Our Friend the Mountain, Davinci. Late night Zoo guests can enjoy playing Red Cup Olympics, or singing karaoke with Paty Moon. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks.
Funds raised from this event will contribute to EPZS’s support of capital improvement projects and educational conservation programs including, field trips for low-income schools. The El Paso Zoological Society is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization that supports the growth and continued success of the El Paso Zoo. Through this partnership, EPZS has contributed to many major Zoo improvements and programs. Tickets are available now! Buy your tickets online at: https://www.classy.org/el-paso/events/brew-at-zoo/e93171
Attendees receive 12 beer tastes, with more than 100 different beers from more than 25 breweries. Wine, margaritas and favorite brews will be available for purchase.