From Sin City to Sun City, there’s a lot to love about El Paso

We’re serious about our chile

El Paso, Texas has been nicknamed the “Sun City,” was known as the “Six Shooter Capital” for its lawlessness throughout the 1800s, and has been recognized for having the ugliest men in America. Having been born and raised there, other El Pasoans would agree that most importantly, El Paso is considered “occupied Mexico.”

While many natives dream of one day fleeing to anywhere other than El Paso, perhaps somewhere that actually experiences snow and not just nasty sludge, there’s a lot to love about my city.

El Paso is the perfect blend of Tex-Mex, both in food and the people

Whether you’re a local or not, it’s hard not to appreciate the rich culture. It perfectly blends notorious Texas culture everyone makes fun of us for i.e. gallon hats and cowboy boots, and Mexican hospitality.

You can’t call yourself an El Pasoan unless you’ve eaten at Chico’s Tacos

I’ll admit, the restaurant itself looks pretty shady at night. You walk in and it looks like a scene straight out of a movie right before a shooting, with a policeman posted at the back corner and yellow, fluorescent lights illuminating the average-looking diner. Don’t let looks fool you. Their tacos have made several television appearances, including on Food Network’s  “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

We’re serious about our chile

We put chile in our meals, snacks, desserts, and especially in our candy. We don’t mess around. Oh, and don’t forget the lime.

We were the original ‘Sin City’

Throughout the 1800s, El Paso’s streets were lined with gambling halls, saloons, and brothels (oh, my!). Law enforcement didn’t do much about the lawlessness until 1905. Now it’s considered one of the safest cities in the country to live in.

You probably know about Pancho Villa’s head

Pancho Villa was a famous Mexican Revolutionary general and one of the most important people of the Mexican Revolution. He was sort of like northern Mexico’s Robin Hood. He was also known for being incredibly wily. So wily, in fact, that when he died, someone raided his tomb in Chihuahua, Mexico, stole his skull and took it back to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to study his brain. Or so they say.

White people are the minority

I moved to Indiana when I was 14 years old. Until then, I had spent my entire existence in El Paso eating at Chico’s Tacos with other Hispanics. I think it’s safe to say I only ever met three white people until I moved. Why? Because white people are the minority there. *gasps* The current Hispanic population there is 82.2 percent.

We came up with the term ‘gringo’

It’s true. El Paso was and continues to be largely populated by Hispanic people. Around the time of the Mexican Revolution, there were many American soldiers patrolling the area, and most of the locals didn’t know English. Because the soldiers’ uniforms were green, Pancho Villa would yell “green, go!” anytime soldiers were nearby. “Gringo” is now commonly used as slang that refers to any non-Hispanic or non-Latino.  

You don’t have to know English

With over 80 percent of the population being Hispanic, it’s no surprise that you don’t have to necessarily be fluent in English to flourish in El Paso. If anything, it’s more important to know Spanish if you want to order food, do business with locals or understand what your friends are saying in Spanglish.

Juarez is your second home

Heading to Mexico is literally a day trip. Juarez, Mexico (also known as J-town) borders El Paso. Most people go to visit family, but it’s also fun to just spend the day in another country.  

The rich live like the poor

J-town and El Paso share the same mountainous terrain. Interestingly enough, Juarez residents living in poverty typically live in the mountains. However, you’re considered extremely well-off in El Paso if your house is in the mountains. Either way, the view is priceless.

New York has a park, we have a mountain

Most big cities like New York brag about their parks. However, El Paso’s park is literally a mountain. Did I mention it has the biggest man-made star in the United States, too? Take that, New York.

Our men are famous

El Paso was voted as being the city with the ugliest guys in the country by Twice.

Despite all of my exes living in (El Paso) Texas, there’s no other place I’d rather call my “casa.” It’s the one place where Hispanics, cowboys, and the ugliest men in America can be seen coming together for some really amazing tacos.