My First Days at Chamizal National Memorial
09 Jun 2019

My First Days at Chamizal National Memorial

 

09 Jun 2019

By Juan Davila

Hello everybody!!

My name is Juan Davila I am a recent college graduate. I graduated in May 2019 from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). I graduated with a bachelors in World History and a minor in Museum Studies. Most of my career courses I took them in border studies and the history in the border.

In May I started an Internship in as a Museum Curator at the Chamizal National Memorial (CHAM)and it has been a very interesting experience. The park was created to commemorate the harmonious settlement of a 100-year dispute between United States and Mexico as to where the border started and ended. The park was created at the same time with a sister park in the side of Mexico with the mission to celebrate the cultures of the borderland and promote mutual respect between both countries.

 

Figure 1: Chamizal National Memorial

I was not able to work the first week due to my background check not being processed on time. Since June started and our backgrounds checks had not been processed I was tasked to help with the Centennial Museum at UTEP. I was tasked with translating oral interviews for an exhibition that will be exposed in august. The interviews are from people who lived in Smeltertown or worked in the Asarco an American Smelting and Refining Company. The smelter opened in 1894 and closed in 2013. The smelter closed because the city of El Paso grew around the smelter and its pollution was affecting its citizens. It was really eye opening to read all the hardships people lived while working in the company and living in the small town created outside the company called Smeltertown.

 

Figure 2: Asarco, an American Smelting and Refining Company

On June 10 my background check passed, and I was able to start working inside the CHAM premises. I was tasked with the duty of assisting in the augmentation of the list of non-accessioned items. The museum has a really big collection that needs organizing and one of the firsts steps towards it is to realize just how big its collection is. Along with my team we finished listing all accessioned items on June 22 and moved on to organizing the warehouse to be able to store more objects inside of it. The warehouse is where all things come to end and its been fun and tiring organizing the artifacts and finding random things in weird places.

 

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