description

Historias: Stories of El Paso
A virtual exhibition curated by our community

Courtesy of: Julio Norman Jr.
Title: The Calvillo Family and The Pass to the North El Paso, Texas
Historia Type: Photograph

The United States has been a destination for refugees as it was for my mother’s family during the Mexican Revolution. They left a stable and prosperous lifestyle for an uncertain future in a new land. Benita, my maternal grandmother, had heard that Pancho Villa was enlisting older children and men into his revolutionary army. Her only son, Jose, was 12 and she did not want to lose him to a war.

They came to El Paso and lived for a short while across Sacred Heart Church in the Baray Apartments until they bought a home in now historic Sunset Heights. It was rough at first, each taking jobs as clerks for Elias Brothers, working on the railroad, cleaning homes, and making shirts from home to make a living. The family has done well and the original home in Sunset remains in the family and is located at 641 Upson.
Grandma Benita was the center of family life and her five children– my aunts and uncles, grew up to be a watch master for Lombardy, an ASARCO sheet metal worker, a jewelry saleswoman for John Silverman and the Popular, and an American Airlines inspector. The drive to succeed was ingrained in them.
My aunts and uncles were great role models for this third generation American family. We learned the importance of family where many cherished childhood values and memories are made. Because of our heritage, parents Julio and Consuelo Norman, encouraged us to get our college degrees and raised a NASA engineer, a social worker, a successful business owner, an ironworker, a financial advisor, an international business entrepreneur, and a police commander.
The world has always had refugees, even before the times of Christ, and always will as they seek safety, security, freedom, and a better life for themselves and their families. Our current immigration issue regarding refugees is an attest to that. The value of keeping families united is key to meeting those ideals.

Uploaded on 06.04.2020 by El Paso Museum of History

Central / Downtown, (2020 - 2029), Cultural Heritage

  • Historias
  • sunset heights
  • Baray Apartments
  • Meet El Pasoans

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