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El Paso, Texas

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El Paso del Norte
The Pass of the North

The arrival of the first Spanish expedition at the Pass of the North in 1581 marked the beginning of more than 400 years of history in El Paso. Here they established a presidio.

And so the sixth largest city in Texas began and still propers today.

Pass to North

El Paso River


Rio Grande River at El Paso del Norte

The Rio Grande served as a way through the mountains. The conquistadores came up the coast of Mexico and through Chihuahua.

At El Paso the Rio Grande turns due north. By following the Rio Grande the Spanish explorers reached Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Taos, and the fabled city of gold, Santa Fe.

Today we know that the shallow river is no barrier. It is easily walked across. Still it provided enough fresh water that it enabled the explorers to live in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert. Here they could pause, refresh, and prepare to go on.

Still today El Paso provides that same place where travelers crossing Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona can pause, refresh, and prepare to move on.

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