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Borderlands: From the Past to the Present -- From the Editor 26 (2007-2008)

A unique resource of faculty edited college student articles on the history and culture of the El Paso, Juárez, and Southern New Mexico regions.

From the Past to the Present From the Editor

Volume 27 CoverArticle first published in Vol. 26 (2007-2008)

By Ruth Vise

A few months ago, Borderlands had three editors and a summer target publication date. One after another, my editors disappeared, victims of personal disasters, and we were left with one student editor and me. So Adrianna Alatorre, returning to edit her third issue, and I have limped along, doing everything that usually takes several people. Thanks, Adrianna, for taking time from your first semester of nursing school at UTEP to complete work on Borderlands. I am grateful to faculty editors Joe Old and Lou Vest for reading and commenting on the stories in this issue. 

Over the years I have been blessed with talented, devoted students as editors. This fall I had dinner with two former editors, both of whom are now teachers in El Paso schools, and they still spoke with enthusiasm and affection of working on this writing project. I remember the first semester they sat in my class. After reading their first essays, I knew they were special. They excelled in my English research course and in all their other classes, obtaining their teaching degrees at UTEP. They both now direct their own classrooms with ease and grace. As we excitedly exchanged classroom experiences, I looked with such pride and pleasure at the professionals they had become. And I see Adrianna doing the same thing in the medical field.

This issue features three stories on border pioneering families that were written by relatives, students who are two, three and more generations removed. Several years ago as a student in my English 1302 class, Ken Kurita III researched the coming of Japanese families to El Paso, and his paper provided the base for this topic. We are featuring two stories on the Japanese in early El Paso that Ken’s research inspired.

Evan Karam and Belinda Alvarez researched family members who dedicated their lives to helping develop El Paso and Juarez in the early 20th century and whose influence is still alive in our community: Ted Karam and Rómulo Escobar. What fun it was to find that student editor Adrianna Alatorre and Belinda Alvarez are related to Escobar and thus to each other. The two students had not known one another before this serendipitous discovery. It turns out that our editor’s grandmother helped to transcribe the agricultural encyclopedia that brought Adrianna’s uncle so much recognition.

Our featured articles are on Hillsboro, N. M., once a thriving gold mining town, and Canutillo, Texas, a quiet but fiercely independent town on the edge of El Paso. Today Hillsboro is home to only a couple hundred residents. Canutillo, on the other hand, is growing in many ways, with new home construction, a beautiful new high school and an outlet mall just opened in October.

In addition, this past fall the Northwest Campus of El Paso Community College, in partnership with Canutillo Independent School District, broke ground on an early college high school to open in 2008. Entering freshmen in this school will earn in four years not only their high school diploma but two years of college credits from EPCC. This accelerated academic concept is growing rapidly throughout the country, and EPCC already has two early college high schools functioning at Mission del Paso and Valle Verde campuses.

This issue is dedicated to Monica Wong and Joe Old, two EPCC professionals and stalwart supporters of Borderlands throughout the years. Without you two, producing Borderlands would be much more difficult and not nearly as enjoyable.  Thanks for your encouragement and hard work, Monica and Joe!

Ruth E. Vise, Project Director and Faculty Editor


Image caption: Ruth Vise, Faculty Editor and Adrianna Alatorre, Student Editor. 


Publication Credits

Article first published in Vol. 26 (2007-2008)

Special thanks to:

Dr. Richard M. Rhodes, President, El Paso Community College

Dr. Dennis E. Brown, Vice President of Instruction

Dr. Lydia Tena-Perez, Campus Dean and Dean of Instructional Programs, Northwest Campus

Monica Wong, Head Librarian, Northwest Campus

The El Paso Times

Michael Price & Mary Acosta

Thanks to: 

Joe Old, Instructor, EPCC Mass Communication and English Disciplines

Lou Vest, Professor, English EPCC

Leon Metz

Becky Ortega, Jeanette Dominguez and staff, Dean's Office, Northwest Campus

Lourdes Garcia, Robert Sandoval, Terri Zarate, Concha Vaquera, Steven Martinez and Lorely Ambriz, Northwest Library

Rachel Murphree and Helen Bell, Northwest Library

Laura Gaither, Nancy Coe, Marye Booth, and Emma Uresti, ISC, Northwest Campus

Pat Worthington and staff, El Paso County Historical Society

Claudia Rivers and staff, Special Collections, UTEP Library

El Paso Public Library

Martha Andrews, Rio Grande Historical Special Collection, NMSU Library

Friends of the Library, Hillsboro, N.M.

Lucy West

All EPCC students who submitted manuscripts, photographs and illustrations to Borderlands

Cover photos: Hillsboro ruins by Monique J. Ortega; Canutillo High School by Adrianna Alatorre.


Produced by the Students and Faculty 
of El Paso Community College

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