Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Janie Zapata, 8, at her home in Donna, Texas, outside McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border, April 9, 2012. Roughly 500,000 Texans live in "colonias," or neighborhoods, along the state's 1,248 mile border with Mexico. About 100,000 of them are children.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Alma Castro and her daughters, Maria, left, and Alma, right, live in colonia Green Valley Heights, east of Harlingen, Texas. Residents of colonias, 64 percent of whom are Hispanic, usually own small plots of land on which they build homes when they can afford the materials.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Jose, the boyfriend of Alma and the father of her two youngest children, relaxes outside their home after a long day of work.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Alma Castro shares a tender moment with her son as her other children play games and keep themselves busy after they've returned from school. Children are bused to neighboring counties to attend public schools, which are not set up within many of the colonias.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Angel Castro, 9, dozes while he waits for the school bus in the early morning.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    A young boy looks out the window of his family home in a colonia in Donna, Texas, just outside McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border. This is one of the more than 2,294 Texas colonias, located primarily along the state's border with Mexico.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Kids play in a makeshift swimming pool in Donna, Texas, just outside McAllen. Many colonias lack wastewater infrastructure and potable water. Even in the colonias that have adequate sewer systems, the border area lacks sufficient facilities to treat wastewater. Often untreated or inadequately treated wastewater is discharged into waterways, which then flow into Rio Grande.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Carlos Zapata, a mechanic who works at home, prepares to fix a car in Donna, Texas, just outside McAllen.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Carlos Zapata, a mechanic who works at home, prepares to fix a car in a colonia in Donna, Texas, just outside McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border, April 9, 2012.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Maria Castro, 12, sits in her bedroom in colonia Green Valley Heights. According to the Texas Secretary of State's website, 85 percent of colonia residents under the age of 18 were born in the United States.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Sisters Alma and Maria Castro play basketball in their backyard in colonia Green Valley Heights.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    There is a flurry of activity in the Castro house in the evening hours. The oldest daughters finish their homework as the youngest is fed from a bottle at the dinner table.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    A woman walks home with her young daughter in colonia Green Valley Heights.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Maria, 12, is the oldest daughter in the Castro family.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • Texas Colonias

    Sergio, 17, waits for the school bus to stop at dawn in front of the family home in colonia Green Valley Heights.
    Scott Dalton/Zuma Press For ABC News
  • A Look Into the Border Towns of South Texas

    Watch "Nightline" TONIGHT at 11:35 pm E/P as we go inside the border towns of south Texas.
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