HOUSTON — Outside Houston's city hall, El Paso and its people were in the hearts and on the minds of Houstonians.
"It's so hard being far away from home," said Nicole Levario.
For Levario, it's not political. The pain is personal.
"It's a heartache that I can't explain," she said.
Levario lives in Houston but was born and raised in El Paso. Her family and friends still call the border town home.
"I usually go to that mall," Levario said. "I would have been there that Saturday morning."
Although she doesn't know the victims, it feels like she does.
"If you want to describe El Paso, it's family," Levario said.
She and nearly 100 others came to City Hall hoping to feel better.
"We're standing with the city of El Paso," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "This happened in El Paso, but it could have happened in the city of Houston. If we don't stop hatred, it will spread."
Protesters stood up to hate and are hoping this will be the moment things begin to change.
"They will survive it," Levario said. "They will overcome it."