El Paso Video Histories
Video interviews with notable El Pasoans (or those with ties to the region)
1st woman mayor:
article & video
article & video
article & video
Border Studies at EPCC
NW Library and EPCC Links
Other Local Libraries
We do NOT have the resources to assist with genealogical research.
For GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH please contact:
*El Paso Genealogical Society
10th Anniversary: Border Customs and Crafts
With the spring 1992 issue, Borderlands celebrates its 10th anniversary. Hundreds of students over the years have contributed articles, photographs and illustrations to this EPCC writing project begun in 1982 under the advisement of the late Glenn Spiegelhalder, English instructor. Other faculty advisors have included Lawrence Milbourn, Tom Myers and Ruth Peña. At the end of my second year as faculty advisor and editor, I salute my predecessors for their years of hard work and dedication to students that this project demands.
Our theme this year encompasses a wide array of possibilities for students living on the border. Some border customs such as wearing boots or breaking a piñata also embrace a craft and are very familiar to readers. Likewise, most border residents are familiar with mariachis but may not know high school students are learning the musical form throughout El Paso. Other customs such as the quinceañera or midwifery may not be readily understood by all border residents, but many will recognize the first custom as a rite of passage and the second as a time-honored method of bringing new life into the world.
As usual, we are able to present only a few examples of the rich store of border customs and crafts that our people practice. We hope to offer more in a later issue. Because customs are usually handed down from family to family, generation to generation, readers will find variations in the customs with which they are not accustomed.
As these stories evolved from research topics, I found it exciting to listen to students discuss a custom in class and have others add details reflecting the way the custom is observed in their home. I listened to students new to El Paso ask what the purpose was of that big cross on top of the mountain on the west side and whose image was painted on buildings, cars or even clothes. As the colleagues explained about the Mount of Cristo Rey and Our Lady of Guadalupe, some students found themselves unable to provide more than a cursory explanation. Students thus had an opportunity for some in-depth research into their own culture and customs or into those of a community of which they were now a part.
As part of the requirements for their project in English 3112 (Research and Critical Writing), students had to conduct library research on their custom or craft as well as locate and interview experts in the field. Students discovered early that no one library was sufficient, but they also were pleased to find that scholars across the world are interested in their topic! In some cases, printed materials were scarce, but knowledgeable people in their community were willing to talk with the students, and those interviews proved invaluable to the students' research.
As advisor, I would like to thank all my 1991-92 English 3112 students for their stories, photos and illustrations submitted to Borderlands. Through their work I've learned so much about a culture I thought I knew well. Thanks also to a terrific pair of students who edited the stories, Lynn Cordova and Linda Tarin. Congratulations on your graduation from EPCC, Lynn. You have been a super editor the past two years.
This issue is dedicated to the late Dr. C. L. Sonnichsen, teacher, scholar, mentor, Southwesterner.
Ruth E. Vise, Faculty Editor