The Guardian: Seven miles east of McAllen’s palm-studded city streets, the interstate off ramp slides past the sprawling branch of a popular Texas supermarket – HEB (Here Everything’s Better) – and a drive-in bank. Swinging under the highway and heading north on Alamo Road, the shopping malls and car showrooms recede at the first traces of the colonias – the ramshackle but largely unseen towns that are home to hundreds of thousands of Latinos across the Rio Grande valley of southern Texas.
A mechanic’s sign declares “credit no problem”. Vibrant green fields of coriander or cilantro, a staple of Mexican cooking, accentuate the dilapidation of the road. A small square building with a corrugated iron awning marks the corner with East Trenton Street. A wooden, hand-painted sign is nailed to one of its walls: “Trenton’s Second Hand Store”. Doors, sinks, windows and mosquito screens are propped in a jumble on the grass in front. Buyers stop by to pick up the parts for colonia houses, constructed piecemeal as their owners find the money. Read more.
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