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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

Borderlands: El Paso Grows Up 19 (2000)

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

The Editor's Column: El Paso Grows Up

Article first published in Vol. 19, 2000.

By Ruth E. Vise

Volume 19 CoverEl Paso rapidly grew in population and diversity when the  railroads arrived. Chinese railroad workers settled here along with Anglos and Mexicans. Families and wealthier individuals who came here saw the need for schools, churches and public services. Students in my English 3112 classes (Research and Critical Writing) explored a wide range of topics relating to El Paso, Northern Mexico and Southern New Mexico during the years 1880-1920.

They wrote on the first schools, churches and hospitals, the development of the fire department, library and cemetery. Others researched the influence of several Catholic orders and traced the history of the Mormons and Mennonites, who fled to Mexico to escape persecution. This issue also looks at El Paso's first theaters, the building of Scenic Drive and the effects of Prohibition. We purposely saved papers on gunfighters and other notorious characters of this era for another issue.

I sincerely thank my colleagues Daryl Troyer and Joe Old who cheerfully edited each story. Hearty thanks also go to artist Gabby Guzman and photographer Danny Martinez for their hard work. The EPCC and public librarians did a great job of helping my students and me find research materials. I am grateful to Aurora Rivera, who helped research, proofread and type the articles. Thanks to Joyce Ritchey, Dean of Communications and Fine Arts, for her enthusiastic and generous support of Borderlands. April, thanks for being a terrific daughter and promoter of this project. 

Next fall I begin a new year at Northwest Center, leaving the Valle Verde campus after 15 years. Students will continue to research the history of this wonderful place we call home. We hope you enjoy this issue of Borderlands that traces some "civilizing" elements that made El Paso unique. 









Image caption: Ruth E. Vise, Faculty Editor & Adviser


From the Staff (Volume 19)

Article first published in Vol. 19, 2000.

By Gabriela Guzman  and Daniel W. Martinez

My experience as this year's Borderlands' artist has been very gratifying. I been able to recreate the way many of our past local figures lived, and I have learned a lot of the history of our border region in the process.

To produce the right illustration is not easy; I have to explore the many libraries, bookstores and landmarks around the city to make my work look as authentic as possible. Thanks to the staff who worked hard to make this year's issue possible and to those people who supported me.

Gabriela Guzman


Image caption:  2000 Borderlands Staff Danny Martinez, Photographer; Ruth Vise, Editor & Advisor; Gabriela Guzman, Artist.

When I became the photographer for Borderlands, I had no idea that I would learn so much about El Paso's history. I have seen what El Paso looked like in the past from pictures in the archives in the Downtown El Paso Public Library, and I can see the way El Paso changed and grew. There is still so much to learn about this city and the people who started it all. I think my next job will be tour guide!

Daniel W. Martinez

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