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
Border Food Folkways
The word "variations" is important when dealing with the folklore of any people. A student of folklore is interested in the variations in customs, traditions, behavior. People who enjoy border food know that no one prepares enchiladas, tacos, guacamole or any other dish quite the same way. And the farther away from El Paso that we travel, the wider the variation until a chile relleno becomes a stuffed bell pepper, chile loses its heat and is more like tomato sauce, and the only tamales available are stuffed into a can.
It is no coincidence that former Southwestern residents visit often, taking back chorizo and tamales in small ice chests, bags of dried New Mexico chile in their luggage, and their stomachs full of "real" Mexican food. Even today when Mexican food has entered the American culinary mainstream, really tasty border food for former residents is hard to find outside the Southwest. One of the last traits of any ethnic group to disappear through assimilation is food preferences and methods of preparation. My students discovered this when they began interviewing members of their family about different foods and customs. Students sometimes argued long and loud when other students announced their way of making a certain dish was the way.
Students learned that what they ate, when they ate it, and how they ate it really reflected their culture. They learned that in some cases, they were eating a food prepared in much the same way it was hundreds of years ago, such us the corn tortilla. They researched the history of customs they retained from previous generations without knowing the underlying purpose, such us El Dia de los Muertos. They learned how their ancestors planted or harvested or prepared foods that are now eaten in a different form.
The articles began as lengthy research papers in English 3112 (Research & Critical Writing) classes. Students were required to use many sources, including interviews, and the papers were written in formal academic English. Under the tutelage of my colleague, Carroll Ferguson Nardone, Mass Communication instructor, students briefly studied the form and purpose of the journalistic feature article and wrote the lead for a proposed story based on their research. Some individuals and one small class pursued this process for quite a while until they had turned a 2000 word academic paper into a short journalistic feature article, complete with illustrations or photographs.
The articles, all written by EPCC students, were further edited by Borderlands editors and advisors, with each editing producing another draft. Artwork and photographs also are by EPCC students, with rare exceptions. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor and the food that goes with it!
Ruth E. Vise, Faculty Editor