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Dear El Paso,

Joel Molina
The view of downtown El Paso from Scenic Drive.

For years, El Paso has been overshadowed by the bigger cities in Texas like Austin, San Antonio, Dallas or Houston, but El Paso is not one to overlook. From the Franklin Mountains to the heart of downtown to the hidden gems in Socorro and Ysleta, El Paso continues to be home for many, regardless of if they have lived here their entire lives or if they moved out of town and visit on occasion.  

El Paso can seem like a bore to some but when taking a deeper look, the city has much to offer including culture, love and experiences unlike any other.   

Ascarate Park  

It might not be at the top of the list for many, but Ascarate Park is a memory-filled place, especially for those who remember when Western Playland resided there up until 2006. With multiple additions to the park including the El Paso Healing Gardens, a dedication to the Aug. 3 victims, addition of fish in the lake and a center pavilion, Ascarate has grown vastly in only a matter of years. It is that growth which has allowed for different events to take place inside the park reminding the city of what beauty it holds.  

The view of the Star on the Mountain on the Franklin Mountains at sunset. (Joel Molina)

Star on the Mountain  

From hidden beauty to the beauty El Pasoans know and love, the beloved star on the mountain is perhaps the most iconic piece of El Paso culture. Representing many things, the star has shown its bright light since 1940, although it started off on the southside of the Franklin Mountains. Now lit almost every day by donation or purchase, the star truly embodies one of the many nicknames El Paso has; “The Star City” in the “Lone Star” State.  

The Missions  

El Paso is known for many things but one of the city’s more historic aspects is its three historic missions. The Ysleta Mission, The Socorro Mission and The San Elizario Mission were all built in the late 1600s by Spanish colonizers and serve as living symbols of the heritage of Hispanics and Native Americans in Texas and the Southwest.   

The San Jacinto Plaza located at 114 W Mills Ave. (Joel Molina)

San Jacinto Plaza  

At the center of downtown El Paso, San Jacinto Plaza, located at 114 W. Mills Ave., has been a part of El Paso history for years and has seen many changes as well. From housing real life alligators to now hosting get togethers for the entire city, San Jacinto Plaza embodies the love for the city in one spot. Getting a full remodel, the plaza welcomes the entire city to visit and embrace the culture not just there but in the surrounding buildings of downtown.  

The Franklin Mountains  

Almost 27,000 acres and over 100 miles of trails, the Franklin Mountains, located at Tom Mays Unit 2900 Tom Mays Access Rd., are one of the most natural ways to see the hidden beauty El Paso is home too.  

Many might not be into nature, but the state park displays moments of beauty you will not be able to find anywhere else. From the blooming of the beloved poppies or the beauty of the desert animals, the Franklin Mountains are yet another beloved place.  

Scenic Drive  

There are many reasons to love the city of El Paso, but the best reason would be Scenic Drive. Up by the star on the mountain, Scenic Drive is home to the best view of El Paso, allowing for so many to appreciate the beauty of the city.   

Itzel Giron is the editor-in-chief and may be reached at [email protected]; @by.itzel.giron on Instagram; @itzel_anahi_16 on Twitter. 


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About the Contributors
Itzel Giron
Itzel Giron, Editor-in-chief
Itzel Giron is a senior multimedia journalism and creative writing student at UTEP. She started her journalistic career at The Prospector in the fall of 2021 as a staff reporter and is now editor-in-chief. Thanks to The Prospector and her tenacity, Itzel has had the opportunity to be an intern with KVIA Channel 7 at El Paso. Itzel is also a freelance journalist, and her work has been published in The City Magazine, Borderzine and Walsworth Yearbooks. After graduation, Itzel hopes to continue her passion of journalism by working in broadcast television reporting on politics, entertainment and news.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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Dear El Paso,