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El Paso, Texas was settled in 1859. Because of its remote location on the Rio Grande in west Texas, however, it did not experience growth until the railroads arrived in 1881. El Paso would soon become a typical lawless western town as gunfighters, gamblers, thieves, railraod workers, and cowboys, dominated the desert landscape.
Today, El Paso is a much different place. It is America’s second largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border and the 19th largest city in America. It has been named the safest of America’s large city for four consecutive years. Over 75 percent of the city is of Mexican or Latin descent. El Paso is directly across the river from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and is 48 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Interestingly, El Paso is closer to the capitals of Arizona and New Mexico than it is to Austin, Texas.