A Question at the Margins: Juárez’s Geography of Contrasts

Do you go to the bathroom? How strange a question. My brother was asked this by a four-year-old girl named Monica about 15 years ago. The odd question has haunted me for years, and I've been thinking about it lately in relation to the Pope's upcoming visit to Juárez. First, some context. Monica is from an area of Juárez commonly called La Periferia, literally translated as “the periphery.” It is at the margins, at the edge of the city.

Just a Park?

I remember going there when both of my little brothers were learning how to walk. I remember jumping from the swings, and falling from the monkey bars. I’d like to begin telling you about Juárez here. Like much of Juárez this park holds beautiful memories, but also some painful ones.

Fr. Pepe: A Brief Word about this Blog

Where are you from? "I’m from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico." Oh, I heard about the violence. It must be terrible. (Deep sigh. Tired, forced smile.) "Oh, it's better now." Some version of this conversation is annoyingly common here in St. Louis. My barber says the same happens to St. Louisans when outsiders ask them about the violence in their city.