A small town where the little things matter most


Marisa Garcia

The Fabens ISD sign welcomes individuals and displays the accomplishments it has achieved.

Marisa Garcia, Photo Coordinator

The city is in a literal corner of Texas that El Pasoans call home. However, El Paso is not the only community that shares that corner. Thirty minutes away, there is a small community that few acknowledge. Welcome to Fabens, home of the Wildcats.

“This town is a prime example of how people can come together to help one another.  The town is small enough and a distance from the city so it depends on the people to come together to get things done and they do. Perhaps this is why the slogan is ‘Small Town Tough’,” Fabens High School vice principal Maria Villareal said. 

Since 2019, Fabens’ population stands at  5,736. The number of restaurants, stores, motels, schools, can be counted on one’s hands. It’s almost hard to comprehend when only a few miles away there are multiple chains of restaurants, hundreds of shopping centers and grocery stores. Small towns like Fabens often have only one supermarket if that.

“Coming from El Paso where we have multiple places to eat, multiple places to shop, and multiple places for our kids to go to school, it was a scenery change,” Fabens High School special education teacher Libby Garcia said. “When I first drove down to the town I didn’t know how I could work in a place like that, but when I saw the kids, I saw all they really wanted was love. That truly made me believe that I needed to work in Fabens and help them, teach them but show them acknowledgment and encouragement.”

In Fabens, it’s the little things that matter.  

“We use the slogan, ‘Small Town Tough’ because this town is really built on that principle. The town, financially, is limited but you have some of the hardest working people I’ve ever come across,” Fabens High School vice principal Alex Navarro said. 

Washington D.C. has the White House, New York City has the Statue of Liberty, and El Paso has the star that shines every night on the mountain. Fabens, has the people. El Paso isn’t the only town in this corner of Texas; Fabens along with other towns like San Elizario, Clint and Anthony, are all a part of El Paso County. El Paso dominates these towns, and just like Fabens, they are overshadowed. That only motivates the people to work harder in making the community filled with hope and unity. 

“Previously I was working as a Pre-K teacher and I started with a few donations where I was able to obtain new toys, new backpacks, new school supplies for the kids at Fabens Elementary. I did this because I wanted to help out the community, however if it wasn’t for the pandemic and my transition to Fabens High School, I wouldn’t have understood how much the community needed the donations I was gathering,” Garcia said,  “I didn’t plan on becoming an advocate for the community of Fabens. It wasn’t until Mr. Navarro motivated me to get out of the classroom and go out into the town to see where the kids lived that I did. It sparked a fire in me and I just kept going.”

The recent donations and food distributions over the past year has made more people realize the importance behind the donations. For small towns like Fabens it is important for the community to stand together and help each other.

“The donations and distributions have brought people together to provide support for families in need – especially with all that COVID-19 has caused.  The support and need was there before COVID, but it will be needed even more after COVID,” Fabens High School principal Tony Prado said. 

Fabens ISD has come together as a team to serve the community and provide the support it needs.

“For small communities like Fabens, the school district is very much the center/the area for individuals to seek assistance,” Villareal said. “As an employee of the district (Fabens ISD), I feel that it is my duty to provide as much assistance as I can, not only to the students but also to our community members.”

This town defines what it means to be united, and it’s full of aspirations and togetherness.

“Fabens is such a tight-knit community. The dynamics are evident,”  Fabens High School English l teacher Valeria Lara said, “Sometimes I like to compare it to a quilt. It’s composed of different backgrounds, different colors and shades, but all in all a united community with the same aspirations, concerns, and purpose.”