It’s been a harrowing few days for the people of El Paso, Texas – and for Latinxs in general – as we grapple with the reality of living in a country where our president’s hateful and misleading rhetoric can inspire major acts of white terrorism against our communities.
And as the border community of El Paso begins the healing process, a familiar, and often cathartic ballad begins to fill the air in the Sun City. “Amor Eterno” – which was written by Juan Gabriel, and popularized by Rocio Durcal – is a border-bred anthem one can expect to hear at just about any funeral or wake in the El Paso/Juarez region (and of course, across the United States and Latin America). And local mariachis, and even just the public in general, are taking to the streets to pay tribute to the 22 lives lost in the brutal act of white terrorism.
On Sunday, Univision journalist Silvia Salgado found a young woman playing an impromptu tribute at the Cielo Vista Mall parking lot, and documented it on her Twitter.
— Silvia (@ssalga1) August 5, 2019
Then, on a much larger scale, during the interfaith vigil on Sunday in El Paso, mariachis led the melancholy crowd in a rendition of the song so many of us grew up listening to in times of joy and in times of extreme lament.
If you come from a Mexican family, you know this song. It's usually sung at funerals as a last good bye. It ends with the promise that one day we will reunite.
— Angélica María Casas (@AngelicaMCasas) August 5, 2019
It’s going to take a lot of change – not just thoughts, prayers, and optimistic slogans, for El Paso to heal. But in the meantime, we have our comforting anthems like these to get us through the day.