Interview no. 1730


Luz Maria Aguirre


Meredith E. Abarca


El Paso Food Voices


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Summary of Interview

Luz María Aguirre was born in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. As she reflects on her early childhood memories, what she shares in this story is growing up in Ciudad Juárez in the 1950s selling food. She and her two siblings were raised by their grandparents. Her grandmother worked in El Paso, Texas cleaning houses. Her grandfather, along with the grandchildren, helped support the family by selling raspados (shaved ice with homemade syrup) and homemade burros (burritos). She, at the age of 12, was responsible for making the flour tortillas; her grandfather made the fillings of mole, chile relleno, carne con chile verde, desebrada, and frijoles con queso. Her brother was responsible for selling the burros. At this early age, from her grandfather, she learned that good cooking is always based in quality ingredients. She also recalls making tamales verdes, rojos y dulces for the Christmas holidays and the lesson her grandmother taught her of always sharing food with the neighbors as a form of community communion. Once married, she moved to El Paso in 1980 and has lived there ever since. With her mother-in-law, she eventually learned to make typical food from Leon Guanajuato, Mexico. In particular she speaks of tortitas de carne, mole de olla, and arroz. She recalls that in the early 1980s, it was difficult finding good Mexican quality products as those she often found in the food markets in Juárez, such as El Mercado Cuahtemoc. While Luz María and her family are not in the habit of eating out much, she does mention her experience of eating at the Shangrila, a Chinese restaurant in Cd. Juárez; going for good Mexican food to Mi Pueblo Nuevo in El Paso, Texas, and to Cattleman’s in Fabens, Texas for special occasions.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

34 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1730

Interview Number

No. 1730

Terms of Use



Meredith E. Abaraca transcribed only the summary of the interview.

For information on obtaining a transcript of this interview, please contact The Institute for Oral History

1730 Aguirre, Luz Maria.summary.pdf (89 kB)
Interview Cover Sheet

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