also spent a significant amount of time at the legislature tracking
bills that would directly affect colonia residents, and filming
colonia activists who testified in front of lawmakers about
the living conditions in their homes.
the course of this intensive principal photography, we filmed a
colonia near Brownsville called Sunny Skies that perhaps
best illustrates how the county and colonia residents worked
together to better their community. Sunny Skies housed 42 families
who had no running water or sewer services. As in many cases, the
developer skipped town without giving residents the proper title
to the land.
colonia was not platted and the residents did not have the
proper legal papers, the water company and the county could not
help the residents. It was the classic colonia nightmare.
Residents recount tales of living day to day without water, sharing
washing water, and pitching in to throw caliche on the road. Only
one spigot, at the entrance to the colonia, serviced the
families and many lived with the hope that maybe one day they would
be able to connect their home to water.
It happened with the help of Cameron County, El Jardin, the Water
Supply Company, Texas Rural Legal Aid and a newly formed Sunny Skies