Historic El Paso Mission Trail

With Passover and Good Friday on the horizon, we thought we’d wander through the Historic El Paso Mission Trail. Along a nine-mile stretch of road lies the two mission churches of Ysleta and Socorro and the presidio chapel of San Elizario. The Mission Trail is a look at the history of Mexican Catholicism, the Native Americans who lived here far before Texas was “Texas,” and the Spanish influence on the area. 

El Paso, Texas. March 2018. For more photos, view our Patreon page. 


Pachuca/o was a subculture created by Mexican youth in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Pachucas were the female zoot-suiters (males zoot-suiters were called pachucos) who rebelled against social conventions. The origin of the term is unsure, one popular and well-known theory is the name originated from El Paso, Texas which was a popular town for migrant workers. Referred to as “Chuco Town,” the migrants that came from the town to Los Angeles were called pachucos.

Pachucos/os were a marginalized group in American society during the mid-20th century due to their youth and ethnicity, and by adopting the zoot-suit style, they adopted the statement of defiance and developed a style for their generation.

Lincoln Park, El Paso Texas. March 2018.

San Elizario, Texas

In 1850, the first official jail in San Elizario, Texas was built. Our travels through the El Paso Mission Trail took us to the now-abandoned jail, and our new friend George was kind enough to share the El Paso area story of Billy the Kid.

Apparently, the San Elizario jail is the only jail that Billy the Kid broke INTO to. (Who knew?)

Legend says Billy the Kid traveled from Las Cruces to San Elizario after learning that his friend, Melquiades Segura, had been arrested. Billy arrived in the middle of the night, posing as a Texas Ranger. When the jail’s guard opened the door, he found himself eye to eye with Billy’s 44 revolver. Billy quickly retrieved the guard’s guns, helped his friend out, put the guards in the jail, and threw away the key.

From there, the Kid hopped the river and headed into Mexico - which, at the time, was only about two miles away.

George also let it slip that Billy the Kid was “quite the ladies man.” If you ask around, there are plenty of residents in the area that trace their family tree back to the infamous outlaw.

San Elizario, Texas. March 2018.

Daniel in the Segundo Barrio

The very first person we met in El Paso asked us what we were there to see besides dirt. When we met Daniel in the Segundo Barrio he understood why we were there - there’s a whole lot more to El Paso than dirt. Daniel’s family has called both El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico home for as long as he can remember. He’s been around for major changes in the area - from the water park that closed when he was a teen (he’s still upset about this) to the proposed new stadium downtown (which would involve tearing down historic buildings and neighborhoods).

El Paso, Texas. March 2018.

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