Houston Matters

Makeshift Border Towns: Improving Life in Texas ‘Colonias’

All along the Texas/Mexico border — and the border of neighboring states — are residential areas that lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water, septic or sewer systems, electricity, paved roads or safe and sanitary housing. These makeshift towns that offer little more than third-world conditions inside the U.S. are called “colonias.” Houston Matters’ […]

All along the Texas/Mexico border — and the border of neighboring states — are residential areas that lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water, septic or sewer systems, electricity, paved roads or safe and sanitary housing.

These makeshift towns that offer little more than third-world conditions inside the U.S. are called “colonias.”

Houston Matters’ Paige Phelps set out to learn more about colonias and talked with Alexa Ura, a demographics reporter for the Texas Tribune, who recently co-authored a series on the colonias, and Jeronimo Cortina, assistant professor of political science at the University of Houston.

She began by asking Alexa Ura to further describe what a colonia is.

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