El Camino: Watching the World Cup in the Texas Panhandle

El Camino: Watching the World Cup in the Texas Panhandle
Chihuas Photo by Teresa Puente

On the road today, we had one goal. At 2 p.m. central we would stop to watch the Brazil vs. Mexico World Cup soccer game.

We drove outside of Dallas and into northwest Texas along U.S. Route 83. We planned to make it to Oklahoma or Kansas by evening. I calculated that we could travel to Perryton, a few miles south of the stateline with Oklahoma, in time for the game.

From my passenger seat, I Googled and found out the town was around 35 percent Hispanic, so I figured there would have to be a Mexican restaurant.

We found Chihua’s on Main Street and inside two dozen people drinking micheladas and margaritas watching the game.

My husband wore his Mexico soccer shirt today and when we walked in the bartender, Alejandro Nevarez, greeted us with “Mexico!!!!!!!”

The family who owns the bar is from Chihuahua has been in the U.S. more than 30 years. Many of their customers are Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who work in the oil fields around here. But Nevarez also said there are workers from South Africa and China living in the town too.

“This is the only bar in town,” said Nevarez, 24, a nephew of the owners.  “It gets crowded on the weekends.”

The people erupted with cheers every time Mexico almost scored.

Late in the second half the coach brought in No. 14, el Chicharito, or Javier Hernandez but he couldn’t score. Mexico’s goalie, Guillermo Ochoa, now known as San Memo, blocked Brazil from scoring multiple times.

The game ended 0 to 0, and for Mexico a tie is as good as a win.

As we headed north to the border…to Oklahoma, they said “adios” and wished us safe travels.

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