Chamizal Murals, El Paso, Texas

"NUESTRA HERENCIA" by Carlos Flores. (1992)
Location: Chamizal National Memorial. Nuestra Herencia, or "Our Heritage," is a blending of images that reflect the diversity of culture found along the U.S./Mexico border.

Vistors to Chamizal are greeted by Carlos Flores' bold, bright depictions of the history and culture of two nations. Painted on the outside walls of the visitor center, "Nuestra Herencia," or "Our Heritage," is one of more than 100 murals around the city of El Paso, Texas. The mural was donated by the El Paso Junior League's Los Murales Project and dedicated in 1993. The 18-foot-high, 120-foot-long mural illustrates the blending of cultures of the United States and Mexico.

The Scene unfolds in four panels: The far left panel devoted to Mexican heritage, a blending of two cultures-native peoples and Spaniards-that created the Mexico of today. The third and longest panel honors U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Mexican President Aldofo Lopez Mateos, who initiated the search for a solution to the Chamizal problem. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who completed negotiations after Kennedy's assassination is also shown. A final panel traces the Spanish influence on the area from colonial times to present.

CHAMIZAL NATIONAL MEMORIAL. The Chamizal National Memorial is near the Cordova Bridge in south central El Paso, El Paso County. The 54.9-acre park, which commemorates the peaceful settlement of a ninety-nine-year-old boundary dispute between the United States and Mexico (search CHAMIZAL DISPUTE), is on part of the 193-acre site acquired from Mexico in the Chamizal settlement in 1963. Congress set aside the park site the same year, and it was opened to the public in 1973. The memorial hosts a variety of programs throughout the year, including the Border Folk Festival in October, the Siglo de Oro (Spanish Golden Age) Festival in February and March, the Border Jazz Festival in May, the Zarzuela Festival in July and August, and the Sixteenth of September "Grito" celebration. A state historical marker was placed at the site in 1968.

Chamizal National Memorial
800 South San Marcial Street, El Paso, Texas 79905

A unit of the National Park Service, the Memorial commemorates the signing of the Chamizal Treaty, ending a 100-year-old boundary dispute between Mexico and United States. The Memorial includes a museum, theater and art gallery (Los Paisano Gallery). Admission is free. Park grounds are open daily 5 a.m. -10 p.m. The visitor center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Photography by Sal Rojas

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