description

Historias: Stories of El Paso
A virtual exhibition curated by our community

Courtesy of: Maria Luisa Hernandez Rosales
Title: Untitled
Historia type: Photograph

We arrived to El Paso, Texas in August, 1959. Even though my father was born in the United States, we lived in Cd. Juarez, Chih., Mexico. My mother was from a town near in Chihuahua called Los Azules. Our family (at the time) consisted of 4 girls and our parents. Three of us were born in Cd. Juarez, one was born in El Paso. Later we had additions to our family, my brother and then our youngest sister was born.

When we arrived here in El Paso, I remember going to register at Cedar Grove Elementary School with my mother. Everyone spoke English and we didn’t but it was okay because there was someone that could translate for us. The first day of school was a bit scary for myself and my sisters because we did not speak any English. I don’t remember any of the children speaking Spanish and my teacher didn’t speak Spanish either. It was difficult and frustrating because I could not participate in anything that required reading or speaking. I remember I was very good at math. I could already multiply and divide and in the class, they were still adding and subtracting. Needless to say, I started making friends. We continued going to school and before too long we were all speaking English. Well all of us except my mother. She found it very hard to learn, maybe because she didn’t want to. My father had grown up speaking English so from time to time we would speak in English to him.

I continued going to school and before too long I was already in high school. I attended Ysleta High School where I took archery and participated in sports . By this time my English was good, but I still spoke Spanish. At home my mother made sure we spoke only Spanish; although when my siblings and I spoke to each other we did it in English.

Like all families we had our traditions that came from Mexico, and then we started adding our own traditions from the United States. We were very family oriented and always gathered usually on Sundays and every year on Christmas Eve at our mother’s aunt house. My grandparents had passed before any of us were born so it was at Tia Chole’s that we would get together at. We would open gifts at midnight and then went home and opened presents on Christmas day. Although we celebrated the Birth of Jesus at Christmas (El Niño Dios) we also knew Santa Clause and waited for his gifts. Going to Mass/church was also something we always went to. Growing up the church building wasn’t close to our house so there were times we went to Mass in Juarez.​

Uploaded on 06.04.2020 by El Paso Museum of History

Central / Downtown, (2020 - 2029), Cultural Heritage

  • Historias

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