Laredo, Texas

Laredo is located to the north of the Rio Grande river and is the county seat of Webb County in Texas. Located on the U.S. Mexican border, the city has a lot of American-Mexican influences. Comprised as part of the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area, the city's main source of income comes from cross-border trade with Mexico. Its location is of strategic importance for Mexican-American companies and vice-versa. Using the city, a lot of traders negotiate deals between the neighboring countries.

From what was a villa is now an expanding and developed city. Since its inception in 1755, Laredo has become a center point of cross border trade activities in the whole of Texas. It is called the Republic of Rio Grande, and has the distinction of being a massive inland port on the U.S.-Mexico border. Well connected by international bridges, Laredo is logistically perfect for trade and commerce.  Another way the city is well connected is through its airport. The Laredo International Airport is withing the city and the Quetzalcoatl International Airport is in nearby Nuevo Laredo.

Laredo city is busy during February, for it is in this month that Washington's Birthday Celebration is held. Thousands of tourists visit Laredo city during this time.

Laredo is a great place to live in. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Laredo History

On the north bank of River Rio Grande, the city of Laredo was founded in the year 1755. Captain Tomas Sanchez started inhabiting Laredo with his ranch and livestock. Later, there was a potential city that was envisioned in Laredo. The city was planned and layouts were developed in 1767. From what started off as a ranch, became a fully fledged town.

Laredo was primarily inhabited by the Spanish and it inadvertently became a Mexican city in 1821. This was the time when Mexico gained independence and was freed from Spain's rule. During this time, a lot of trade happened. Cattle hide and sheep wool was exported out of the city. In exchange, Laredo received food and day to day house supplies. But Comanche and Apache Indians destroyed this trading pattern by attacking Laredo's ranches.

This set a serious sense of resentment and revolt in the people of Laredo. They were not happy with the Mexican rule. They felt threatened by the dictatorship form of government and yearned for democracy. So the people of Laredo were vociferous in their support for a constitutionally approved autonomous republic, called the Republic of Rio Grande.

Laredo became this republic's capital. This republic attempted to join Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and South Texas. Even though the republic was formed it could not withstand the onslaught of the Mexican Army and fell to it. But the Republic of Texas freed itself from Mexico and tried to win back Laredo. However, the people of Laredo were suspicious and  maintained loyalties with Mexico.

Soon after, the Republic of Texas became a part of the U.S. in 1845. This led to a war between the U.S and Mexico. Mexico was defeated and the Rio Grande was declared the border between the two countries. Laredo became a part of Texas, as per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Some Mexicans moved to the other side to the Rio Grande, and some stayed on this side.

From 120 families who moved here seeking shelter grew to 2000 families. From then Laredo grew in leaps and bounds, and is now an important port of entry for the United States. It has also emerged as the second fastest developing city in the country. As more domestic development happens, Laredo is forever expanding into a city with a mind of its own.

About Laredo, Texas

Laredo is located at the main route connecting the United States with Canada and Mexico. This fact makes Laredo an advantageous place since it can act as a land port. For the U.S, Laredo is the main point of entry into Mexico. Laredo is within close range of Mexico's industries. A lot of investor money pours into the development of Laredo, to make it fit to be an ideal gateway to Mexico and vice versa.

Locally, Laredo is known as Los Laredo's in Spanish. It has a strong Spanish influence, since Spaniards settled here as early as 1755. Now Laredo is a major center for pre-customs activities. More than anywhere else, the Laredo Customs District manages the most trade volume in the United States. On account of Laredo being the only place in the U.S. with such an advantageous location, the federal government has added more railway and other transportations systems to the city.

From Laredo, apart from going anywhere you want, you can also go to Canada, and Mexico on a single road. Laredo is a land of cultural multitudes. The various hues of Laredo are a product of its rich past and its strong heritage. Over here, there is always a Texan and Mexican influence in everything. The way people live, sing, dance, talk, laugh, are all influenced by a mix of both cultures. Nuevo Laredo, being the sister city of Laredo, is close by. Only separated by the Rio Grande River, Nuevo Laredo is situated in Mexico. Visitors could visit Nuevo Laredo, even though it is in Mexico. There is a tourist district in Nuevo Laredo that lets U.S. visitors in.

Laredo is known as the city of seven flags, for it flies flags of Rio Grande as well as Texas. It's distributed loyalties to both the countries on either side of the border is seen as a connecting factor for trade, commerce and cultural pollination.

Laredo has both an active day life and an active night life. There are plenty of nightlife centers here. Visitors get to enjoy themselves in plush bars and nightspots. North Laredo has a lot of bars with the most popular being Hal's Landing. There are special bars for gay people as well; Chelsea's 311 is one.

Most old buildings in Laredo have strong Spanish architectural influences. Most churches are Roman Catholic, and the oldest church is San Agustin Cathedral. Talking about buildings and churches, Laredo has sky scrapers too. The tallest building in Laredo, the Hamilton Hotel is around 46m in height. There are a lot of other tall structures as well.

About Webb County, Texas

Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. Named after James Webb, the Federal Treasury Secretary, Webb County is the largest Texan county. Webb County was actually separated into another county before. The eastern portion of Webb County was allotted for Encinal County, but this county had governance issues and was done away with and integrated back into Webb County.

Webb County is a democrat's den. For the Democratic Party, this has been a safe haven for a very long time. Since 1912, this county has had a majority of voters voting only for Democratic Party candidates. A notable incident would be the 2008 presidential election between John McCain and Barack Obama. While John McCain was voted as majority from the whole of Texas, Barrack Obama won solely and squarely from Webb County because he was a democrat.

Webb County is bounded by at least eleven counties. To the north is Dimmit County, and La Salle County. To the south are Jim Hogg, Zapata, Nuevo Laredo, and Guerrero Counties. Duval County is to the east, and Hidalgo County is to the west. More information relating to demographics and statistics can be found with the Office Clerk of Webb County.

A reputed agency keeping up the cultural and architectural heritage of Webb County is the Webb County Heritage Foundation. Since 1980, this foundation's chief activities have revolved around the preservation of Webb County's culture, and architecture. The heritage foundation is open to donations. As the most prominent preservation agency in South Texas, it relies on monetary support provided to it.

Webb County has a lot of agencies involved in children's activities. One among them is the Children's Advocacy Center of Laredo-Webb County. The objective of this advocacy center is to free children from abuse. Through volunteers, the Center provides community education, training, and life-skills support to deserving and needy children. Helped by volunteers and donors from all over the world, the Center is home to plenty of children looking for a helping hand.