NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)-- a trade agreement
with Mexico -- has brought prosperity to many along the U.S. border,
this economic boom has eluded many colonia families. Colonias
were originally built in the 1950s as make shift dwellings for migrant
farm workers. However, farm jobs in the new economy have dwindled
because of modern machinery and increased agricultural production
in Asian and African nations.
annual income of families in colonias is estimated at $7,000-$11,000
per household. Typical family size is 5-6 people.