"The Valley of South Texas," a recent joke goes, "is a great place to live. It's so close to the United States." Culturally, this borderland region is both Mexican and Anglo-American, and its people span the full spectrum, from a minority who wish to remain insulated within strictly Anglo or Mexican communities and traditions to a majority who daily negotiate both worlds.
This fascinating book offers the fullest portrait currently available of the people of the South Texas borderlands. An outgrowth of the Borderlife Research Project conducted at the University of Texas-Pan American, it uses the voices of several hundred Valley residents, backed by the findings of sociological surveys, to describe the lives of migrant farm workers, colonia residents, undocumented domestic servants, maquila workers, and Mexican street children. Likewise, it explores race and ethnic relations among Mexican Americans, permanent Anglo residents, "Winter Texans," Blacks, and Mexican immigrants. From this firsthand material, the book vividly reveals how social class, race, and ethnicity have interacted to form a unique border culture.