Life in a South Texas Colonia

This book is a result of the artist’s wish to preserve his family’s history and way of life for his son who grew up in the Austin metropolitan area and had limited exposure to small-town life. While this book came from a desire to share with the author’s son his cultural roots, it serves the same purpose for any young Tejano whose parents came from humble beginnings. The stories and artwork are eminently relatable to most Tejanos who grew up in a rural area. The author/artist is a member of the Soto family, which has a long history of living in Edroy.

The Soto family contributed all of the anecdotes and are the subject of all the original paintings included in this book that depicts Tejano life in a colonia. Life in Edroy is not covered comprehensively, rather these anecdotes and works of art touch on a few events that are representative of life in a colonia, not only in Edroy but anywhere else. Tejano families throughout the state will find these events familiar and heartwarming. They present them an opportunity, not only to reminisce but also to educate their children and grandchildren about their cultural roots.


Manuel Flores, Ph.D.

Soto grew up poor, but he didn’t know it.  The things he learned in that colonia — values like hard work and determination — motivated him to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and, later, a doctorate from Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi.

His story serves as an inspiration to many who lived and, indeed, thrived through similar circumstances. Many South Texans will be familiar with the anecdotes and art, imbued with culture and folklore, through which he shares his story.