Joy, Rebellion, Freedom: El Segundo Barrio


Quincineara, Segundo barrio, El Paso – 2009



Fifteen and delirious, defiant and non-idealogical, optimistic and uncertain, determined and hesitant, at times wildly free and untamed.


Driving in the back of the stretch, a car that you aren’t old enough to drive. In the Segundo, this so-called “blighted,” and tarnished neighborhood, the soul of the border city, the well from where the cultura chicanisimo comes from. Oh yeah vato, those ruffled tux’ ain’t too many steps from the Zoot!

Health care, now,  is taken care of in the ‘hood. Good thing.

The merchants -I guess- have worked their deal for getting their enterprises refurbed after the demolition. Sure. Why not?

The Church isn’t going anywhere even if they don’t have many parishoners (none who live in the ‘hood). Euro-style, a church without fire.

The crawling reality of The Plan comes, step by step, “public housing unit,” by public housing unit, Public Meeting by Public Meeting (“If you don’t have a Plan, we do. Speak up or forever say goodbye to the old El Barrio.”).

It’s all good. Man, it’s all good.

Know what?

In the end this beating heart isn’t about the place. There’s always another place and time. Sad to say. In the end, it’s all about el pueblo, the village, the people. It’s about Joy, Rebellion and Freedom. You find that where you can. You keep it if you can. You have it or you don’t. Any age. Any time. In “El Barrio.” Wherever.

La pregunta: You got it?


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