Editor's note: Pope Francis has arrived in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. He is the first pontiff to visit Mexico's border with the United States, Univision reports. While there, Pope Francis will visit a prison and seminary, then deliver his "Two Nations, One Faith" Mass at the fairgrounds of Ciudad Juarez at around 6 p.m. ET. Continuing with the message of togetherness, the pope's homily will be livestreamed to thousands watching in the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas, just on the other side of the border. - Shelley
Ciudad Juárez (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað ˈxwaɾes], /ˈwɑːrɛz/WHAH-rez; Juarez City), known in the past, until 1888 as Paso del Norte (Pass of the North), and commonly referred to by locals as simply Juárez, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez's estimated population is 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), south of El Paso, Texas. Together with the surrounding areas the cities form El Paso–Juárez, the second largest bi-national metropolitan area on the Mexico–United States border (after San Diego–Tijuana), with a combined population of over 2.7 million people.
There are four international ports of entry connecting Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, including the Bridge of the Americas, Ysleta International Bridge, Paso del Norte Bridge and Stanton Street Bridge. These combined allowed 22,958,472 crossings in 2008, making Ciudad Juárez a major point of entry and transportation into the U.S. for all of central northern Mexico. The city has a growing industrial center which is made up in large part by more than 300 maquiladoras (assembly plants) located in and around the city. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Ciudad Juárez "is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city." In 2008, fDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez "The City of the Future."