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."