El Chuco and Chucotown have been slang words used for decades to make reference to El Paso, Texas.
The origins of the nicknames date back to the Pachuco era in the early 1940’s when a large portion of the El Paso population began to adopt a new fashion style — a large suit, coupled with high-waisted, wide-legged trousers, and a long coat with big lapels and huge shoulders, or zoot suits. The culture began in El Paso and Juarez and eventually spread to Northen states, where it died around the 1960’s.
There’s an argument today that comes up every now and then on the El Paso 411 Facebook and Instagram accounts. One side thinks that the name Chuco is a way for proud locals to identify themselves; while others, primarily the younger generation, argue that the slang words feed into a stigma that El Paso is filled with uneducated people and our streets are littered with gangs. When you Google Image Search “Chucotown” or “El Chuco,” nearly all of the results are related to violence, gangs and/or tattoos, except for a photo of downtown.
Is it time to drop the nicknames El Chuco and Chucotown and replace it with something more relevant to today’s age? Vote in our poll below and then share your thoughts in the comments.
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