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El Paso is located at the very western tip of Texas, so close to the Mexican border that it forms a bi-national metropolitan area with Ciudad Juárez across the Rio Grande. As a result, the Latino influence in the city is very strong, with people of Hispanic or Latino background making up over 75% of the population as of the 2000 census. The annual musical, Viva El Paso, is performed every summer in the NcKelligon Canyon Amphitheater and celebrates the city’s multinational culture.
There are many landmarks throughout the city that testify to the rich cultural history of El Paso. The oldest mission in Texas was founded here, near the crossroads of present-day Alameda Street and Zaragosa Road. The Ysleta Mission at 131 South Zaragoza Road is still used as a church today and hosts a major musical concert every summer. Another good mission to visit is the Mission Socorro (located at 328 South Nevarez Road), an excellent example of Spanish Colonial architecture.
To fully appreciate El Paso’s Hispanic heritage, a trip across the border is necessary. Ciudad Juárez across the Rio Grande has nightclubs, restaurants, boutiques and the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is nearly 350 years old. You may also visit the city via the Border Jumper trolley, which leaves from the El Paso Convention & Performing Arts Center and loops through Cuidad Juárez.