Life around the border is a very unique way of living.
I currently live in Juarez and commute to El Paso everyday.
It can be tiring, but not many people have the chance to experience being in two countries everyday, so I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
We have different celebrations in both cities, but at the same time we like to celebrate each other’s traditions.
Just like I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, Americans don’t celebrate the Day of the Dead or the Day of all Saints.
Well let me tell you in Mexico we do.
It's one of the most beautiful celebrations that my country has to offer, I mean, how many cultures celebrate death?
This celebration is to remember our loved ones that have passed away, and honor them with offerings.
We do altars for them that have “pan de muerto” which is just a type of bread, also food and drinks that the person used to like, “calaveras de azucar”, flowers but they have to be a certain type, ashes and salt to make a cross in the altar.
This tradition can sound really weird, but once you get to know what they are celebrating, you can see that it’s a very unique way of celebrating.
The point that I’m trying to make here is that even though our countries are very different, the area in which we live is all mixed with our celebrations.
Many people that I know celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving even though they are Mexicans.
Americans tend to celebrate “Cinco de Mayo”, which is not our independence day, we [Mexicans] don’t even celebrate it as Americans do.
Yes, maybe we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as Americans do, but that is what’s amazing about the border community, we make our own way of celebrating things.
A few years ago I lived in a small town in Pennsylvania, and when I told them that my plan was to go to college in El Paso, but actually live in Juarez they stared at me like I was crazy.
They thought that commuting to El Paso was a very long trip, when usually what takes time is the Border Patrol.
Anyway, I explained to them how the cities were really close one to another and they still didn’t get it.
That is when I realized how unique it is to live that close to another country and to practically have two different worlds, but that in some way they’re also alike.