This article about “Sí El Paso” first appeared in The El Paso Times 05 January 2020 issue. The article is written by Maria Cortez Gonzalez.
In his worldwide travels, El Paso photographer Mark Paulda is often asked where is he from.
When he replies El Paso, the second question is usually “why El Paso?”
Paulda, who is super proud of his city, wants people to know what El Paso is about. And the best way for him to answer is through a pictorial.
Through TCU Press, he has recently released “Sí El Paso,” a look of El Paso and its people through photographs. The book comes out 10 years after his first photographic book of the city, which was a best-seller for the Fort Worth-based publisher.
“The first book, ‘Celebrating El Paso’ had City Hall on the cover so once the building was raised, it made the book outdated,” Paulda said. Not to mention, there are no more copies available of the book.
Paulda said the city has changed a lot in 10 years, especially in development Downtown.
“The Mills Building has been renovated and brought back to life and has a whole different character,” he said as an example.
So he was happy to take another look and photograph key areas of El Paso including buildings designed by architect Henry C. Trost, the missions, around the University of Texas at El Paso and Fort Bliss as well as people and cultural activities.
Paulda said El Pasoans are always proud of their city, whether they live here or are away. He sees the book being given to both people unfamiliar with the city as well as former El Pasoans who have a heart for their former city.
The book includes anecdotes about El Paso by both regular residents as well as as some notable people like artist Carmen Navar and former city Rep. Emma Acosta.
My El Paso not only is the home of my Hispanic culture but is also nestled between the countries and three states and has been greatly influenced by American and Native American cultures and cuisines. – Carmen Navar
“We’re kind of a mystery to outsiders so I hope people get a really good sense of who and what we are,” Paulda said.