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Nserver readers are SMART PROGRESSIVE INVOLVED INFLUENTIAL GOOD LOOKING st9 are Nserver advertisers r Get noticed by Texas Observer folks all over the state and nation. Let them know about your bookstore, service, restaurant, non-profit organization, event, political candidate, shoe store, coffee house, boutique, salon, yoga studio, law practice, etc. ADVERTISE IN THE OBSERVER! REASONABLE RATES GREAT EXPOSURE Call 512-477-0746 and ask for Julia Austin or e-mail [email protected] 06server readers r Consider advertising your business or non-profit in the Observer. GOOD FOR YOU GOOD FOR THE OBSERVER and growing Hispanic population is counterbalancing the stagnation and eventual decline of the Anglo population,” said Eschbach, who notes that this trend is projected over 40 years. The area’s growth, when compared with the increasingly urban corridor of HoustonSan Antonio-Dallas, is slight. When oil prices are high, as they are now, Midland has always been a prosperous enclave. Last year, Hispanics in Odessa, Midland’s more blue-collar gemelo, accounted for 47.9 percent of the population, according to the Odessa American. Midland’s population is slightly larger than Odessa’s, but its percentage of Hispanics is only 34.2, according to the Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And with oil above $80 a barrel, the Permian Basin is thriving. “It’s booming for everybody,” said Guillermo Guzman, director of community development for the Hispanic chamber. Guzman laments that 9/11 is making it increasingly difficult to bring in people from Mexico to work legally despite a labor shortage. As I checked into a Midland hotel on Friday evening, a soccer team from the Mexican border town of Ojinaga piled into the reception area behind me. They had endured the wait at the border and driven four hours to Midland for the first UNICOPA Tournament. Play began that evening, September 14, and would end on Sunday the 16th. Fiit -bo/ is a passion in the two-thirds world. It’s the ideal sport for the poorall one needs is a field and something to kick. In Latin America during a World Cup, entire cities are stilled as the populace watches the matches on every available television. Sponsored by the local Univision station and Tecate, UNICOPA featured 12 teams from Texas and Chihuahua state in Mexico. Local squads came from Midland, Odessa, Amarillo, Lubbock, and El Paso. Most of the Midland teams were eliminated the first day, with the stragglers mopped up on Saturday. It was hard to find anyone in town who was aware of the tournament. The Odessa Linses made it to the quarterfinals, but fell to Chihuahua 3-2 in overtime before a small crowd in a nearly empty stadium. The El Paso Indios faced Ojinaga for the trophy and a chance for photos with three teenage blondes sent by the local beer distributor. It felt like the Mexicans had been schooling the Texicans all weekend; then Ojinaga ran out of gas, and the Indios won 3-0. Shortly after the victory over the pinata, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders arrived. A man representing festival sponsor West Texas Ford and a Midland police officer escorted Andrea Rodgers and Abigail Jordan Klein, a perfectly matched brunette and blonde, respectively, to a table shaded by a small tent. The women whipped out a stack of cheerleader team photos and some pens. Most everyone in the still-thin crowd milling about on the lawn in front of the stage wore some item of Dallas Cowboys clothing. More than a dozen men, women, and children formed a line to meet the ladies. Whether it was team loyalty or simply the attraction of opposites, for the next several hours, as long as they were at the table, so was the crowd. About 30 minutes into the autographing bout, Jose “Bo” Zeurteche came to fetch the cheerleaders. Zeurteche is a jack-of-all-trades: promoter, developer, and musician. He helped start Sabor, which means flavor in Spanish, three years ago. It began as a restaurant tasting event. Zeurteche wanted to build on what he already knew to be successful: cookoffs. \(In addition to the classic chili cookoff, the area also boasts a popular mid-September weekend he chose is the most nationalistic holiday in the Mexican calendar, the one marking the historical Grito de Dolores usually known as dieciseis. Zeurteche took the cheerleaders backstage to meet the Mexican consul based in Presidio, Hector Rail’ Acosta. The consul had come to lead the crowd in the gritos, or shouts, of “iViva!”, a few of which Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo is said to have proclaimed in his call for insurrection against the Spanish on September 16, 1810. Acosta primed the crowd. “Don’t you feel honored?” he asked after telling them OCTOBER 5, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25