While Working on Wellness Environments is a statewide effort, the program is directly working in 4 counties: Starr, Webb, Maverick, and Hudspeth. They are primarily Hispanic, and primarily rural. Each county has a coalition leading their communities in the grant.
With a population of 64,525 people, Starr County is approximately 1,223 square miles and its two largest urban areas are Rio Grande City and Roma. The county is about an hour and a half west of McAllen, and two hours southeast of Laredo. The three school districts in Starr serve around 17,600 students – that’s almost a third of the population under 18.
Starr County’s Health Coalition is made up of members of the city of Roma, city of Rio Grande City, Starr County, Rio Grande City Economic Development Corporation, Rio Grande City Consolidated ISD, Roma ISD, San Isidro ISD, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Advancement, Texas/Mexico Border Coalition, After School Center in Education, FJ Scott Study Club, Prairie View A&M, and AgriLife Extension.
Head north along the Rio Grande River to find Webb County, which is a two-and-a-half-hour drive south of San Antonio. This county is around just over 3,360 square miles with a population of 275,910. Laredo is Webb County’s largest city and its three school districts that serve around 68,200 students. Webb’s coalition contains members from Webb County Community Action Agency, Bethany House, Cigna, Las Promesas de Laredo, Jeff Jones Laredo Rotary Club, University of Texas Health San Antonio-Laredo Campus, Texas A&M University Colonias, Border Region Behavioral Health Center, Serving Children and Adults in Need, and AgriLife Extension.
Further north along the Rio Grande, about two hours northwest of Laredo and two and a half hours southwest of San Antonio, Maverick County’s population of 58,485 people live in approximately 1,279 square miles. The majority are in Eagle Pass. The county’s three school districts serve around 15,600 students – nearly a third of the residents are under 18.
Maverick’s Coalition has members of Maverick County Precinct 1, Area Agent on Aging Middle Rio, City of Eagle Pass, Eagle Pass ISD, Maverick County Hospital District, Methodist Healthcare Ministries- Wesley Nurse Program, Southwest Border Area Health Education Center, University of Texas Health San Antonio, South Texas Rural Health Service Inc., Behavioral & Substance Abuse Counseling Prevention Education, Texas Department of State Health Services, United Medical Centers Health Education Program, and Prairie View Extension Maverick.
Finally, an hour and a half east of El Paso and eight hours west of San Antonio, Hudspeth County is the largest of the HOP grant areas, with 4,570 square miles, but only 4,795 people. Its three major towns are Sierra Blanca, Dell City, and Fort Hancock. The two school districts serve about 500 students. Hudspeth’s coalition has members from the County Commissioner Court, Hudspeth County Park Management, Emergency Management, Sierra Blanca Community Enhancement Organization, 4-H Youth, SBISD School Board, and Texas A&M AgriLife.
Read more about what each county in our newsletters and blog.