New Mexico highways, El Paso streets
UFO Museum - Roswell, NM
And then there is Mexico. Larger than its sister city on the north bank of the river, Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican side is home to over one million people, with more arriving every day, hoping to find a better life in this huge city on Mexico's northern border. Drive west along I-10 at night and see if you don't feel the energy of this thriving metropolis as you look down on millions of sparkling lights lining both sides of the Rio Grande. West of downtown El Paso in the daytime, you can look right across the river into Mexico at boulevards, mercados, barren soccer fields... and farther west, at the shantytowns lining the hillsides outside of Juarez -- an eyeful of poverty and the contrast between America and Mexico that must be seen to be believed.
And you don't even have to cross the river to appreciate the rich Mexican heritage and culture of the borderland region ... flip through your radio dial and get an earful of that conjunto music blaring from the stations on the Mexican side. Drive around the city -- on the American side -- and count the number of signs that are in displayed in both English and Spanish... or sometimes, Spanish only. There are plenty of places that leave you feeling as though maybe you crossed the river without realizing it! One particularly colorful part of town is the retail district (illustrated in the photos shown here) located south of downtown near the El Paso del Norte international bridge. Consisting largely of businesses like shoe shops, lingerie shops and run-down second-hand clothing stores, it's clear that the average customer patronizing these shops isn't coming from the American side. Grab some lunch at a nearby tacqueria -- along with a Mexican bottled Coke -- and enjoy the show!