“EL PASO — The landscape is stark and the sun relentless as it hits the vast brown terrain of this desert city framed by mountains.
The effect is spectacular.
At night, with the splash of lights from the city that stretch seamlessly into Mexico, it is even more so.
This is El Paso, named by Spanish explorers in Mexico “El Paso del Norte” because it was “the gateway to the North,” providing a route across the Rio Grande River and up between two mountain ranges, an entry point to what would become the American West.
And it still is an entry point, but for Texas tourists it is an entry point for much more — to Cuidad Juarez in Mexico to the south and to Las Cruces, N.M., to the west. Bilingual, bicultural El Paso is not just one city — it is conjoined with Ciudad Juarez, commonly referred to as simply Juarez, named for Benito Juarez, one of Mexico’s most distinguished presidents.”