Friday, April 14, 2017

El Paso: Duranguito #1: The Posada

Father Rafael Garcia speaks at San Jacinto Plaza, El Paso, Texas. December 2016.

December 2016

It was near Christmas and therefore time for posadas.

A posada is a Christmas tradition in which Catholic parishioners re-enact Mary and Joseph's attempts to find a room at the inn before Jesus is born. Details vary among local, regional, and national cultures. In the United States, posadas are most strongly connected to the Mexican-American community. More detailed story here.

Duranguito posada, El Paso, Texas. December 2016.

There are a number of posadas in El Paso before Christmas. I chose one. It happened to be the Duranguito posada.

Which is how I first learned of a struggle between Duranguito residents and business property owners, business developers, and the city of El Paso. The city intended to tear down much of the Duranguito neighborhood to build an arena. Many residents of Duranguito are elderly renters who had lived in Duranguito for many, many years. Some had already received eviction notices. A movement had begun to fight back against the destruction of Duranguito.

Duranguito posada, El Paso, Texas. December 2016.

The procession began at San Jacinto Plaza

and moved through the downtown plaza area ....

....  and toward the Duranguito neighborhood, sometimes called Union Plaza area. Its first stop was at long-time shopping mart, which was now - or would soon be - closed, because of the impending arena construction. 

Duranguito posada, El Paso, Texas. December 2016.

The posada went to its second stop, in front of a woman's home, where she'd lived for decades:

The posada culminated at The Rock House, a mixed-art venue that showcased visual and musical arts, and whose owners were among the opposition to demolish the neighborhood.

Below is a slide show of the Duranguito posada:

Duranguito, El Paso

History was unfolding.

Duranguito posada, El Paso, Texas. December 2016.

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