The good people of Juarez

I’m sitting at San Lorenzo Catholic Church in Ciudad Juarez on Ash Wednesday. What I see are good people all around me participating in the annual Catholic ritual. This is my first time in Juarez on Ash Wednesday. I commute to Juarez every day from my home in El Paso to work at Norte, a local media company. The perception in the U.S., and particularly in El Paso is that Juarez remains unsafe and that travel is not suggested. I am told repeatedly how foolish I am to cross in Juarez. One friend went so far as to suggest how irresponsible I’m being by crossing into Juarez and leaving my family in El Paso. I shouldn’t put myself in danger when I have a family, he reasons. But I feel no danger. Juarez functions normally on a daily basis. As I sit in San Lorenzo Church surrounded by the good people of Juarez, I wish the rest of the world could see them and their city as I see it today.

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