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El Calaboz, TX

Alicia A. Garza General

El Calaboz is a dispersed colonia off U.S. Highway 281 and just north of the Mexican border, six miles south of San Benito in south central Cameron County. The site was settled in the late 1940s and by 1970 had fifty-three residences. In 1986 an estimated population of 162 lived in thirty-six homes. By 1990 El Calaboz was part of a census-designated region, with a population of 1,143, that also included two other colonias, Encantada and Ranchito. By 2000 that figure had increased to 2,100. The name comes from Spanish calabozo, "calaboose" or "jailhouse."

Colonias in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas: A Summary Report (Policy Research Project Report No. 18, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, 1977).


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans


  • Communities

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Alicia A. Garza, “El Calaboz, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 29, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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