5 things to do in Juarez, Mexico
Rich in history and only 5 minutes from downtown El Paso, Juarez is the largest U.S. border city with Mexico. You can walk across the international pedestrian bridge and into town, where it is easy to find a taxi should you want to go farther in. The fess is US$3.50/vehicle, and US$.35 cents/over pedestrian bridge.
|crossing from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas|
|downtown Juarez, Mexico|
1. Kentucky Club & Grill 629 Ave. Juarez. Daily 11am-2am. Founded in 1920, this famous bar is said to be the birthplace of the Margarita. Nowadays these icy delights run 50 pesos/US$3. Sitting at the old bar itself, where you can watch the drinks being made, is definitely the way to go, though I was a bit disappointed by the unenthusiastic “I just work here” demeanor of most of the staff. In spite of that attitude, they make a really good margarita. The dark interior is filled with interesting items, and a menu of snacks and meals includes popular nachos and hand-cut fries.
|exterior of Kentucky Club & Grill in Juarez, Mexico|
2. El Mercado Agustin Melgar St./Avenida 16 de Septiembre. This traditional Mexican market operates inside and around a 2-story building. It serves the locals with produce and prepared food items, but it also holds several cafes and is the perfect place to find a Mexican souvenir.
|exterior of El Mercado in Juarez, Mexico|
|casual restaurant at El Mercado in Juarez, Mexico|
|churro stand at El Mercado in Juarez, Mexico|
3. La Misión de Nuestra Señora Guadalupe Av. 16th de Septiembre, 2 blocks west of Av. Juárez. This is the first mission in the region built by the Franciscans. Built between 1662 and 1668 by Mexican, Spanish, and Indian labor, this is the oldest surviving church in the area and remains an active chapel today. It is considered a prime example of Indian baroque architecture, influenced by Arab tradition, and is adorned with 18th-century sculptures and oil paintings. Next door is a contemporary cathedral, and behind the mission is a bronze statue of the founder, Fray Garcia of San Francisco.
|exterior of La Mision de Nuestra Senora Guadalupe in Juarez, Mexico|
|interior of La Mision de Nuestra Senora Guadalupe in Juarez, Mexico|
4. Museo de la Revolucion en la Frontera (MUREF) Avenida 16 de Septiembre/Avenida Juarez, centro historico, (011.52) 656-612-4707. Tu-Sun 91am-5pm. Housed in the Old Customs House, this museum features exhibits regarding the Mexican Revolution and Ciudad Juarez. They tell about the role of the railroad as well as of politician, writers, and revolutionaries. Exhibits on Pancho Villa are particularly enlightening.
|teacher addresses his students outside Museo de la Revolucion en la Frontera in Juarez, Mexico|
|painting of cows in Museo de la Revolucion en la Frontera in Juarez, Mexico|
a taxi ride away from downtown
5. Big Red X/Monumento a la Mexicaneidad The mammoth red “X” that can easily be seen from El Paso is a public art piece by noted Mexican monumental steel sculptor Sebastian. According to artist Sebastian (Enrique Carbajal González), the piece honors mixed-race peoples and re-creates both the Christian cross and an Aztec religious symbol called the Nahui Ollin, (he explains it all in this video. Begun in 2007 and finished 2012, the controversial piece was commissioned by the city of Juarez and stands 196 feet tall--the equivalent of a 17-story building. An elevator operates inside.
|Big Red X/Monumento a la Mexicaneidad in Juarez, Mexico|
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images ©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers