Saturday, August 21, 2010
More Freeway Murals
Here are more photos of Interstate 10 through the Chamizal Park section just south of downtown El Paso. (See others here.) These are mostly self-explanatory, but we'll note two things.
First, Mexican culture (which is clearly evident in these photos, as Mexican-American culture) tends to be highly self-aware, proud, and educative. Americans elsewhere in the country are aware of statues of important Americans in parks and public places, memorials, and so forth, but the Mexican idea takes this further. Murals are one obvious example. They are extremely eye-catching and partly designed to educate the young. For example, we were entranced to walk through the beautiful park in the center of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon (Mexico's third-largest city), enjoying similar murals, statues, spectacular architecture...and listening to the music of Vivaldi at high volume over hidden speakers: truly extraordinary.
Second, the Mexican city just across the river from El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, is currently one of the most dangerous cities in the world, due to drug cartels fighting each other for dominance (See Distant Cousin: Regeneration). At the same time, El Paso, literally a stone's throw away, is one of the safest cities in the United States. Chamizal Park, on the border, is popular for celebrations like the Fourth of July, Cinco de Mayo, and other holidays in one or the other nations. (There were none taking place when Ana ran through, however.)
In the top two photos above, the cultural and educational components are obvious: Martin Luther King, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Cesar Chavez are commemorated--note that this is a picnic area. (Click the pictures for larger versions.) These barely scratch the surface. We'll post more soon!
Other Freeway Murals
MORE Freeway Murals
What Ana First Saw