Tejano History

La Isla

Tejanos |

        LA ISLA. When Mexico became independent in 1821 a chain of six towns in the El Paso area situated from three to five miles apart stretched along the southern bank of the Rio Grande. In the early 1830s the capricious river formed a new channel south of the old one, thus placing three of them-Ysleta, Socorro, and San Elizario-on an island some twenty miles in length and two to four miles in width. For the remainder of the Mexican period this area was called La Isla, “the Island.” The Rio Grande continued to flow primarily through its new channel, and by 1848, when the river became the boundary between the United States and Mexico, water had ceased to flow in the Río Viejo, or old riverbed.


Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online

   Courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association.