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The Forgotten Americans
Focus: Las Colonias

Find out how colonias developed and what problems they face.


Focus: Las Colonias
Filmmaker's Journal
An Inside Look
A Colonia Experience
Build A Community  
Classroom Resources
Press Room


In America, colonias "the Spanish word for neighborhoods" has come to describe rows of "ruddy, crudely constructed shacks that are little more than a patchwork of old boards and cardboard," according to one resident. These single or double room dwellings were placed on land that was never registered with any city or county. As a result these communities exist without fundamental services such as water and electricity.

Map of the US - Mexican border

Texas has the largest number of colonias. There are 1,400 Texas colonias, sitting primarily along its 1,248-mile border with Mexico.

Take a glimpse into some of the problems that confront colonia families daily.

Income Infrastructure Housing Education
Health Problems Water and Waste Water How Colonias Developed

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