This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
El Paso chef wins funding for cultural education: The Center for Cultural Power, a nonprofit based in California, awarded El Paso’s Mateo Herrera $10,000 for intergenerational education. Herrera is a former fine dining chef who left the traditional restaurant industry during the pandemic and now focuses on his new project, La Puerta del Sol. Herrera works with mostly local ingredients, such as corn grown at De Colores farm and foraged mesquite, to educate people on food in the region. He makes tortillas and hosts a weekly stand at Spoon Flower Grocery, where he’s offered tamalitos de verdolagas, blue corn conchas and pozole verde with calabasitas. Herrera also hosts multi-course dinner events and educational workshops. Read more about Herrera’s work online at El Paso Matters and La Puerta del Sol.
Residents urged to report mosquito breeding, standing water: The City of El Paso Department of Public Health reported its third case of the West Nile Virus this week. The confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne, neuroinvasive disease this summer include a woman in her 20s, a man in his 30s and a man in his 50s. Less than 1% of people infected with West Nile Virus develop neuroinvasive disease, which manifests as brain inflammation and acute paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in five people infected develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, body aches and rash. The public health department cautions people to drain standing water and take extra precaution from dusk to dawn, peak mosquito-biting hours. Residents can also report areas with standing water and mosquito breeding by calling 915-212-6000.
New City Bridges Director: Roberto Tinajero, an economist and the interim director of the El Paso International Bridges Department, is now the permanent director, effective immediately. He had been interim since November 2022. The bridges department is responsible for operations at the three city-owned international ports of entry, and the city street parking meters. Tinajero joined the city in 2015 as an economist and was previously the assistant director for the International Bridges Department.