The Safest City in the United States!

I was pretty irked when I thought up the idea about writing this blog, but it's not meant to be angry, just informative. El Paso, TX, is the safest city in the United States (with a population between 500,000 and 1 million). It was formerly the 2nd safest after Honolulu, HI, and has been either #2 or #3 since 1997, but it claimed the title for the first time in late fall of 2010.

The list is compiled each year by CQ press, and you can take a look at it for yourself here.

Yes, I know it's ironic that the safest city in the United States happens to be situated very near the murder capital of the world (outside of war zones), but it's the truth. The two cities are really and truly one giant metroplex with a heavily guarded international border running through them, but although hundreds of thousands of individuals cross that border everyday, Juarez's cartel violence hasn't, isn't, and won't! El Paso is at the center of a giant misconception, and it's hurting the mission in direct and indirect ways. Every news report you hear or article you read about violence in Juarez describes the "where" as being across the Rio Grande from El Paso, TX, creating an inaccurate link that transcends just geography in people's minds.

I have been working in Juarez regularly for 2 1/2 years now, and haven't once felt threatened. That being said, I realize that I am the exception to the rule; I can understand church councils and parents not knowing the reality of the situation and thus being concerned. However, I am still struggling to understand groups slated to work stateside cancelling for safety reasons! Adding insult to injury is that many of them instead go to New Orleans to help with ongoing Katrina relief efforts, despite New Orleans being the 7th most dangerous city in its respective population category.

My purpose in writing this is to vent, yes, but primarily to educate. I know there are many other dynamics involved that I haven't even thought about, and probably wouldn't until I was in charge of a group of other people's children. But if even one person reads this and comes away with a new and probably surprising tidbit about the place that has become my home away from home, I have done my part to combat Satan's manipulative command of the media.

Until next time, blessings!