No water. No heat. No electricity. Those were the conditions millions of Texans were thrown into when a snowstorm barreled through the state last week. But for tens of thousands of people living along the border with Mexico, losing these services didn't just mean struggling through a few cold nights. Their lives were already so precarious that the freezing temperatures made even survival a challenge. For Nohemí, who lives in a community of informal settlements known as a colonia in South Texas, government neglect has long been a fact of life. When she arrived in the Rio Grande Valley from the Mexican city of Reynosa just on the other side of the border in 1994, her neighborhood initially lacked running water, electricity, and trash services. The homes where she and her neighbors lived were simple and often at the mercy of the elements, presenting a daily challenge even in the best of times. "The storm made everything worse," said Nohemí, a 54-year-old mother of seven, who asked to only be identified by her first name. She lives with her husband and three of her children in a wooden one-story house. When the lights went out early Monday, she was immediately… Read full this story
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