El Paso and Juarez are two cities whose common language and culture bridge the Rio Grande River border

   by Jacqueline Swartz

“Three cities, two countries, one region,” remarked former Texas State Senator Jose Rodriquez referring to El Paso Texas, Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua Mexico, the United States and Mexico.   The saying is something you hear a lot in these parts, especially when it comes to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city just across the Texas border. It’s about a 15-minute walk over a pedestrian bridge connecting the two cities, and the link is both real and symbolic.  For the cities have been joined since their inception. Their language, jobs and cultures have been blended since before Mexico and Texas existed.  

 “Before 9/11 you didn’t even need a passport,” recalled Bernie Sargent, local historian and former chair of the EL Paso Historical Commission.

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