Historias: Stories of El Paso
A virtual exhibition curated by our community
Courtesy Of: Abraham Monteros
Title: Chivas Town
Type: Digital Design
Chivas Town is a blue collar Mexican-American community in the heart of Central El Paso. Chivas Town is located right off the Eastern slopes of the Franklin Mountains. The Franklins make up its West border, Nashville Avenue the South, Fort Boulevard the North, and Highway 54 its Eastern Border. Chivas Town is in the 79930 area code. Municipally it is located in District 2.
Chivas Town means “Goat Town” in English. Many people say it was a derogatory way to refer to the poor Mexican part of unincorporated North Central next to prosperous Manhattan Heights around the early 1900s. Chivas Town may have very well received its name sake as a result of the many Mexican-American families that had small farms with chickens and GOATS. Many of the same sources say that goats would freely roam the hills of the Eastern Franklins and people would trade eggs for goat’s cheese and milk. Chivas Town was also called “El Ranchito” by many of the first inhabitants because of the many small farms.
Chivas Town has several visible landmarks. These landmarks instill pride in the community and represent Chivas Town. The first important landmark in Chivas Town is Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, located at 2709 Alabama Street. Our Lady of Guadalupe was founded on July 7, 1929 right off the Franklin Mountain located on a hill overlooking East El Paso and our sister city Ciudad Juarez. Our Lady of Guadalupe was primarily established to serve the Spanish speaking Mexican-American community of Central. A little known fact about Our Lady of Guadalupe is that the foundation was made with rocks specifically from Mexico. Our Lady of the Guadalupe Church continues to serve the Spanish speaking residents of Central.
A Chivas Town site that is visible from miles away is the big white ‘A’ seen on the Eastern slopes of the Franklin mountain. The ‘A’ stands for Austin High School, which was established in 1930. Students from Austin High School along with many kids from Chivas Town helped move the numerous rocks that make up the majestic ‘A’. The ‘A’ was lit for Austin home football games because it could be seen from R.E. McKee Stadium, Austin’s Football Stadium. The ‘A’ is still maintained by many proud Austin Alumni. Austin High is the home school for students in Chivas Town. Chivas Town has supplied many outstanding student-athletes who have attended Austin High School.
Another visible landmark is the old Sanitary Plumbing building located at Porter Avenue and Piedras Street. Sanitary Plumbing Heating and Cooling Inc. was a major plumbing shop located in Chivas Town that was one of the many Mexican-American owned businesses. Driving down Piedras Street one can see the many mechanic shops and other blue collar trades that serve El Paso.
Today, Chivas Town lives through the creation of Chivas Town Neighborhood Association. Chivas Town was created to save the history of Chivas Town and advocate for its underserved Spanish speaking Mexican-American community of Central El Paso.
Historias: Stories of El Paso - Virtual Exhibition
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