HHS - Colonias
Colonias in Doña Ana County
Sunland Park [ Map ]
Sunland Park is located in South Eastern Doña Ana County. The colonia, which incorporated as a city in 1984, lies between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico in what is historically known as the El Paso del Norte Region. Anapra, the oldest neighborhood in Sunland Park, lies adjacent to Mount Cristo Rey and close to the great Río Grande. Riverside and Monte Vista are the two other major neighborhoods, in which the majority of Sunland Park residents live.
An archeological site near the city suggests the area has seen human habitation for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Anapra began to develop in 1924 with the construction of a westward route by the Southern Pacific Railroad after its purchase of the El Paso and Southwestern Railroads. Before the Southern Pacific Railroad stopped operations on the westward route, residents populated the community of Anapra which soon outgrew its geographic limitations. For 9 years, beginning in 1930, residents who took pride in their religion began to construct a 40 foot monument to Christianity. Each year, residents make a pilgrimage up the mountain to the shrine as a sign of their faith.
The community has generally been populated by a majority of Hispanic people and remains so today. The bedroom community soon grew enough to support the development of a racetrack. To support the new business, Anapra and nearby communities changed their name to Sunland Park in 1960. Between this time and incorporation in 1984, the community grew, the economy expanded, and the tax base was large enough to support the incorporation of a community with over three thousand residents.
Today, Sunland Park has a city hall, is enforcing a master plan for development and growth, provides better liquid and solid waste disposal, has paved streets and a drainage system. The current mayor, Ruben Segura, has lived in the area his whole life and is well-liked by the residents. He is currently working closely with the Health and Human Services Department to improve the city’s infrastructure and leave behind the colonia status. From 2004 to 2005, the city managed to elevate itself from a baseline infrastructure ranking of a C to an A. Sunland Park is ranked 6th among the 37 colonias currently designated in the county. As of the 2006 legislative session, the Health and Human Services Department was requesting $1.1 million in total funding for improvements. The funding was split between two projects: water/wastewater improvements totaling $500,000 and an initial $600,000 of a $950,000 community center.Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, the city can be reached at
PO Box 470
Sunland Park, New Mexico 88063
City Offices: (575) 589-1979
Fire Department (non emergency) (575) 589-6600
Municipal Court (575) 598-0709
Public Housing Authority (575) 589-9414
Chaparral[ Map ]
Chaparral, New Mexico is a rural community that stretches from Southeaster Doña Ana County to Southwestern Otero County. Chaparral is separated from Doña Ana County by the grasslands and hills surrounding the Franklin Mountains. It lies to the north of El Paso, Texas, and is not constricted by state and international boundaries. As one might notice on the drive along state road 404 to the community, only barren hills with sparse patches of vegetation lie between interstate 10 and highway 213, there is no sign of animal life in the hills and desert grassland.
Chaparral (Spanish for “roadrunner”) has its roots in the 1920s as a rural ranching community. In addition to its more recent residential growth by urban city workers and the contributions of the local military base, the community has come to be home to a diverse array of residents. From elderly citizens looking for a quite rural community to retire in to young adults who wish to settle down and start a family, the community is home to several distinct groups of people.
Since the early twentieth century, the children of Chaparral attended school at what was originally called Valley High School in Anthony, New Mexico. The school, now called Gadsden High, continued to serve the older students until 2004 when the Gadsden Independent School District was finally funded. Students are now able to attend kindergarten through twelfth grade in their own community.
Before La Clinica de Familia was established in 1976, residents had to travel to the nearby metropolitan areas of El Paso, Texas or Las Cruces, New Mexico to receive health care. Since its founding, La Clinica has expanded to several locations around Doña Ana County; most Chaparral residents seek care in the Anthony office which provides care on a sliding-scale rate that depends on clients’ income levels. There are currently some emerging private-practice specialists who have begun offices in the community, but this is a relatively new development that may not be widely used by the residents.
Chaparral’s ranchers, some of who continue to ranch today, maintained their way of life until the1960s when some decided to enter the real estate business. One such gentleman, the grandfather of Mr. John Colquitt, saw the demand for low-income housing in the area, and began financing the subdivisions himself. While the more densely situated residential communities did not grow at a high rate until the 1980s, Mr. Colquitt’s business venture was successful. His family company remains successful today and has won awards for the water provided by it water utility: Lake Section Water Company. In the 1980s, along with the construction of McNutt Ave, and the development of residences in Otero County, Chaparral began to receive increase political attention from state and local officials. The community is currently designated as a colonia, but is working to solve its infrastructural, drainage, and waste disposal problems. Citizens have taken charge of activist organizations, and have even taken the issue of incorporation to a vote in 2005. While the community voted against incorporating as a municipality, it continues to develop rurally and forge ahead as a unique development working to conserve its quiet surroundings.
As of the 2006 legislative session, the Health and Human Services Department requested a total of $2 million to initiate two projects in the community. The first, a waste water treatment system was budgeted for $1 million in initial costs of a $40 million dollar project. The initial flood control amount requested was $1 million of a $2 million dollar total project cost.
Milagro[ Map ]
Milagro is a colonia located in the north eastern part of Doña Ana County. The community is still around and ranks 35th out of the 37 colonias for land use and infrastructure. Milagro’s ranking score has gone up slightly from the base line ranking in 2004, and current planned projects promise to further the community’s development. In addition to the $400,000 received for the initial steps of the wastewater project, the Health and Human Services Department requested an additional of $500,000 for two projects in 2006. $200,000 was requested for the completion of the waste water project and $301,300 was to be used for flood control services from the south and west.
Chamberino[ Map ]
Chamberino is located in the central part of the county, directly off of highway 28. The colonia has historic roots that can be traced as far back as the Spanish land grants in the 19th century. Chamberino was once home to former State Representative J. Paul Taylor who grew up in the area in the 1920s and 1930s. During that time, the word “colonia” was not used, and the community did not meet the federal or historic criteria that defines a colonia. Chamberino was an agricultural community and Representative Taylor’s parents were well-known for helping locals with Spanish-English translations as well as helping travelers who were suffering from the effects of the Great Depression.
The school-aged children from the community went to school locally until they were old enough to attend Valley High school in Anthony, New Mexico. Eventually, the small farms in the community gave way to larger corporate farms and residential development. Much of the development was targeted at low-income buyers and much of the infrastructure that is often taken for granted by most US citizens was not provided. Today the colonia ranks 30th of the 37 colonias in the county. It’s overall infrastructure and land use ranking has gone up about a half point from the base-line year in 2004.
Berino[ Map ]
Berino is a historic community that was well-established by the late nineteenth century. The rural settlement had an operational post office in 1902 by 1909 was already petitioning to become a township. The agriculturalists in Berino farmed wheat, corn, alfalfa, chile, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, beans, peas and other staple foods before cotton was introduced as a cash crop. The grazing and ranching industry also came to compete with subsistence farming in the 1930s. The economy was supported by bartering for goods and services more so than monetary exchange.
In the 1930s, the depression definitely had some effects on Berino, a day’s work would bring in about $1.25. There was also a characteristic population movement through the area to California and other places on the west coast.
The Christian precedents brought to the area by Spanish conquistadores and colonists has been characteristic of Berino. Catholic holidays are often celebrated by the locals. The residents often gather for celebrations, share traditional southwestern dishes, and celebrate mass. The mass was presided over by a visiting priest from El Paso, but with the establishment of a diocese in Las Cruces in the 1980s and the construction of a local church, such celebrations have the advantage of a resident priest presiding.
More recently, Berino has received increased attention from local officials and non-profit organizations as it works to solve infrastructure and health problems. The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) has fostered the formation of community coalitions to help residents unify politically. The HHS ranked the current combined infrastructure and land use of Berino 13th of the 37 colonias in the county. While the community has slightly improved from the baseline year in 2004, the governor and legislature approved $120,000 for improvements to Berino Road.