ALAMO, Texas (AP) - While the economy in Texas has boomed over the last 20 years, along the border with Mexico about a half million people live in clusters of cinderblock dwellings, home-built shacks, dilapidated trailers and small houses.Texas has more than 2,300 of these communities known as colonias, the Spanish word for "colony." For decades, the villages have sprung up around cities as a home for poor Hispanic immigrant families.Since the 1950s, Mexican migrants and families priced out of cities have jerry-built houses on cheap border scrubland from Texas to California, buying illegally subdivided lots from developers beyond the reach of utilities and building codes. Before her dad built a two-room house in an area known as Little Mexico, Eva Carranza's family lived in one half of a rundown trailer after coming across the border illegally from Reynosa. The conservative Republicans who controlled Texas government in recent decades opposed illegal immigration but launched a bevy of programs to curb the sanitation problems.Some shanties are made from scraps of plywood, with old campaign yard signs for siding and truck tires used as weights to hold down tarp roofs. Public agencies extended some water and sewer lines, paved roads and looked out for illegal septic tanks and disease-breeding stagnant water.Last year, the rate of tuberculosis in Hidalgo County, where there are more than 900 colonias around Mc Allen and other border towns, was double the statewide average.Cynthia Alonso, 28, said she has already noticed less help coming into her colonia called South Tower. This year, the Legislature did not renew a cornerstone of Texas' help for the colonias, the Economically Distressed Areas Program.Other houses are more substantial and could blend into a normal suburb. Abbott's office said that the state isn't pulling back."It is widely acknowledged in border communities that no governor in recent years has traveled to the border and worked with local border officials more than Governor Abbott," spokesman John Wittman said.
“He was good at his craft,” his son Israel Rico said.He filled station breaks with poetry about love and heartbreak. “In those days when you applied for a broadcaster license in Mexico City, all you had to do was pass the exam,” added the former program director at KXET.Rico’s radio career started at XEMJ 920 AM in Piedras Negras.Some are shantytowns with neither drinkable water nor waste disposal, and since the 1990s, the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to improve the worst and stop new ones from forming. In the last few months, Texas lawmakers cut university budgets that help give immunizations and health checkups to children and others in the colonias.They did not renew a key program that provides running water and sewer service. Greg Abbott abruptly shuttered the office that since 1999 has coordinated the work of various agencies in the communities.Mary Gonzalez, who represents more than 250 colonias around El Paso, said the office's demise reflected a tough anti-immigrant tone of this year's legislative session, in which Abbott signed a measure that authorizes police to ask people during routine stops if they are in the country legally. In this Thursday, July 13, 2017 photo, pre-owned cloths for sale hang on a fence in the Indian Hills East Colonia near Alamo, Texas."I feel there was no political loss to go through" for cutting it, she said, because "they attacked border communities all session anyway." ___ Watch a 360-video of the colonias here: https://youtu.be/UDLZFCh8N3Y . In 2017, Texas lawmakers cut budgets that help deliver immunizations and health check-ups to children and others in the colonias.In this Wednesday, July 12, 2017 photo, a boy rides a horse through Indian Hills East colonia near Alamo, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Lawmakers who represent the border area, and groups that provide help for indigent people there, are worried that concern about the living conditions and health risks in the colonias is flagging in a state government now taking a tougher stance toward immigrants.Texas has more than 2,300 of these communities, known as colonias, that have sprung up around towns and provide shelter to Hispanic immigrant families, most of whom are in the U. To some, "it all feels like the colonias are no longer a problem.20, 2017, San Antonio Preceded by: Wife Maria de Jesus Rivas Rico; parents David Cisneros Rico and Sara Gomez Rico; two brothers; and three sisters Survived by: Wife Ana Maria Rico; sons Ruben Rico Jr., David Rico and Israel Rico; daughter Rosio Maribel Mondragon; stepdaughters Esther A. A few years later when the station shut down, Rico started hosting a radio program at Radio Houston 13. She was in remission for nearly a decade, but died in 1990. Rico worked as a radio personality at Spanish radio stations Radio Jalapeño, KEDA 1540 AM; KXET 1250 AM; and then Radio Festival, KSAH 720 AM.His last announcing job was at Radio Recuero, KBUC 760.