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Laredo ( in English, in Spanish) is the county seat of Webb Countymarker, Texasmarker, United Statesmarker, located on the north bank of the Rio Grandemarker (Río Bravo) in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipasmarker, Mexicomarker. According to the 2007 census estimate, the city population was 233,152. Laredo is part of the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area with an estimate population of 718,073. Laredo's economy is based on international trade with Mexico. It is the largest inland port in the United States. Most major transportation companies have a facility in Laredo. Laredo's location along the southern end of I-35 close to the manufacturers in North Mexico promotes its vital role in trade between the United States and Mexico.

Laredo has the distinction of flying seven flags (the Flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande in addition to the Six Flags of Texas). Founded in 1755, Laredo grew from a villa to the capital of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande to the largest inland port on the United States-Mexican Border. Today, it has four international bridges and one railway bridge. Laredo's weather is semi-arid during the summer and mild during the winter.

Laredo International Airportmarker is within the Laredo city limits, while the Quetzalcoatl International Airportmarker is nearby in Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. The city has three professional sports teams: the Bucks, Broncos, and Heat. Texas A&M International Universitymarker and Laredo Community Collegemarker call Laredo home. The biggest festival, Washington's Birthday Celebration is held during February all month long, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists. The Jalapeño Festival, Stockmen's Ball, Princess Pocahontas Pageant, Mr. South Texas Luncheon, an air show, and two major parades are all held in conjunction with the Washington birthday events.

History

A graphical timeline is available at:

Map of Laredo in 1892
Villa de San Agustin de Laredo was founded in 1755 by Don Tomás Sánchez while the area was part of the Nuevo Santander region in the Spanishmarker colony of New Spain. Villa de San Agustin de Laredo got its name from Laredo, Cantabriamarker, Spain and in honor of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In 1840, Laredo was the capital of the independent Republic of the Rio Grande, set up in opposition Antonio López de Santa Anna and brought back into Mexicomarker by military force. In 1846, during the Mexican-American War the town was occupied by the Texas Rangers. After the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ceded the land to the United States. A referendum was taken in the town, which voted to petition the American military government in charge of the area to return the town to Mexico. This petition was rejected, and the bulk of the population moved over the river into Mexican territory to found Nuevo Laredomarker. In 1849, the military set up Fort McIntoshmarker (originally Camp Crawford). Laredo was rechartered as a city in 1852. The city is the setting of "Streets of Laredo," a cowboy ballad from the late 1800s.

Laredo is one of the oldest border crossing points along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the nation's largest inland port of entry. In 2005, Laredo celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding.

The origin of name of the original Spanish town of Laredo is unclear. Some scholars say the name stems from Glaretum which means "sandy, rocky place" others state that Laredo stems from a Basque word meaning "beautiful pastures". Laredo might also stem from the latin Larida which means gull.

From 1965–1967, NBC aired a western television series called Laredo, with the actors Philip Carey, William Smith, Peter Brown, and Neville Brand. A spinoff of The Virginian, Laredo focuses on Texas Rangers in the border country. In 1958, ABC aired the episode "Ambush in Laredo" of the miniseries, Texas John Slaughter starring Tom Tryon, with Chris Alcaide and Judson Pratt, broadcast as part of Walt Disney Presents.

Geography

Satellite image of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo taken by NASA in 2007


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 79.6 square miles (206.0 km²), of which, 78.5 square miles (203.2 km²) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²) of it (1.37%) is water.

Location

Laredo is located on the west end of the Rio Grande Plains is south of the Edwards Plateau, Coastal Plains to the east, and Mexican Mountains to the west. The area consists of a few hills and flat land covered brush: grass lands, oak, and mesquite. The annual Cola Blanca Contest brings hunters from across the United States and Mexico.

Bodies of water



Notable geographic features are the Rio Grandemarker and Chacon Creek's man-made reservoir,Lake Casa Blancamarker, in Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. The lake is of land and of water. There are six major creeks Chacon Creek, San Ildefonso Creek, San Ygnacio Creek, Santa Isabel Creek, Sombrerillito Creek, and the Zacate Creek all of which drain into the Rio Grandemarker. There are several man made reservoirs including: San Ildefonso Creek Lake (second largest reservoir), Sombrerillito Creek Lake (third largest reservoir), among other smaller lakes.

Climate

Laredo's weather is affected by the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains to the west and the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the Sonoran Desertmarker of Northern Mexico; any moisture from the Pacificmarker is cut-off by the Mexican mountain range. Its geographic location causes Laredo's weather to range from long periods of heat to sudden violent storms and tornadoes in a short period of time. Laredo is cold for south Texasmarker standards during winter, the average daytime highs are around 66 °F (19 C) and overnight lows around 43 °F (6 C); although it is rare for snow to fall in Laredo, there was actually snow on the ground for a few hours on the morning of Christmas Day 2004.

Laredo experiences an average high temperature of about 99 °F (37 C), and an average low of about 75 °F (24 C) during summer, and of rain per year. As Laredo sometimes undergoes drought, a water conservation ordinance was implemented in 2003.

Demographics



Taylor Street, a wooded residential street off McPherson Road, is among numerous Laredo thoroughfares named for military figures.


Laredo places 88th in the top 100 cities in population in the United States. According to the census estimate of 2006, there were 231,470 people. In the 2005 estimate there were 99,675 males and 108,112 females living in 60,816 households, out of those 33,832 were owner occupied. The average household size has 3.69 occupants. The population density was 2,250.5 people per square mile (868.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 179,887 or 86.6% White, 1,012 or 0.5% African American, 599 or 0.3% Native American, 779 or 0.4% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 23,932 or 11.5% from other races, and 1,578 or 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino accounts for 197,198 or 94.9% of the population in terms of ethnicity.

There were a total of 60,816 households out of which 56,247 or 92.5% were occupied, 33,832 were owner occupied units and 22,415 were renter occupied units. 62.0% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.7% were non-families. 12.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.69 and the average family size was 4.18

The city's population is 35.5% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 15.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,019, and the median income for a family was $32,577. The per capita income for the city was $12,269. 29.2% of families were below the poverty line.

According to the United States Census Bureau, at a 2000 census, Laredo was the second fastest growing city in the United Statesmarker, (Las Vegasmarker, Nevadamarker, having been first).

Government

William N.
"Bill" Hall Courthouse Annex


Laredo Police Department


Laredo Municipal Court adjacent to the police department handles primarily traffic cases.
The current judge is Alfonso Ornelas, elected in 2002 and 2006.


Webb County Courthouse is located in Laredo.


U.S.
District Courthouse in Laredo




Laredo's municipal government is controlled by a strong city council-weak mayor system. The mayor presides over the city council, but he/she may only vote to break a tie. City Council elections are based on single-member districts and campaigns have no party affiliations. Nominally nonpartisan municipal elections are held in May of even-numbered years. The municipal government is administered by the city manager hired by the city council. All city elected offices have a four-year term and are nonpartisan though most officials have a party preference or affiliation. City council meetings are held on Mondays and can be viewed on the public access channel.

City Mayor -- Raul G. Salinas, Democrat, elected 2006 to succeed Betty Flores


City Manager - Carlos Villareal

City Council:

District 1 - Joseph Michael Garza

District 2 - Hector "Tito" Garcia

District 3 - Dr. Michael Landeck

District 4 - Juan Narvaez Jr

District 5 - Juan Jose "Johnny" Rendon

District 6 - Gene Belmares

District 7 - Jose Valdez, Jr.

District 8 - Cindy Liendo Espinoza

State and federal representatives

- Texas House of Representatives-

- District 31 - Ryan Guillen, Democrat

- District 42 - Richard Peña Raymond, Democrat

-

- Texas Senate-

- District 21 - Judith Zaffirini, Democrat

-

- United States House of Representatives-

- District 28 - Henry Cuellar, Democrat

Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Laredo. The Laredo Main Post Office is located at 2700 East Saunders Street near Laredo International Airportmarker.

Education

Elementary and secondary

Laredo is served by two school districts: the Laredo Independent School District and the United Independent School District and eight private schools.







The Laredo Independent School District (LISD) serves the areas in central Laredo. The LISD high schools are Cigarroa High School, Martin High School, J. W. Nixon High School and the Laredo Early College High School. LISD also contains three magnet schools: Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health Science Magnet School, LISD Magnet for Engineering and Technology Education, and Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts.

The United Independent School District serves the rest of Laredo and northern Webb County. The UISD high schools are John B. Alexander High School, Lyndon B. Johnson High School, United High School, United South High School. UISD has three magnet schools: John B. Alexander Health Science Magnet, United Engineering Magnet, and the United South Business Magnet. There are thirty-nine schools within UISD and more are under construction and/or in the development stage. United ISD is one of the fastest growing districts in the state, serving almost forty thousand students and covering an area the physical size of Rhode Islandmarker.

The city is also served by eight private schools:

Colleges and universities

Texas A&M International University Library
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio-Laredo Campus Main Building


Laredo is home to Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has a campus in Laredo.

The Laredo Community College is a two-campus institution which offers two-year Associates Degrees. The main campus is located in west Laredo near the Rio Grandemarker. The smaller but newer second campus, Laredo Community College South Campusmarker, is located in south Laredo along United States Highway 83. The main campus is located at the western end of downtown Laredo on the land formerly known as Fort McIntosh. This fort played a major role in the development of Laredo as it served to protect Laredo's border from Indian raids in its early history. Several of the fort's old buildings were converted into classrooms, and then into nightclubs.

The Texas A&M International University is a 4/6 year university that offers Bachelors and Master's Degrees. On April 22, 2004,[20406], the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin provided its approval for Texas A&M International University to grant its first Ph.D. in International Business Administration[20407] [20408]. TAMIU’s College of Business Administration has been named an outstanding business school in "The Princeton Review’s" “Best 282 Business Schools,” 2007 Edition, and ranked third in the nation for the category: “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students[20409].” The university's campus is located in Northeast Laredo along Loop 20. The university was once an extension of Texas A&I-Kingsville and later changed to Laredo State University. Prior to its current location along Loop 20, the university was housed on Laredo Community College's downtown campus grounds.

The University of Texas Health Science Center campus is located in East Laredo near U.S. Highway 59 and the Laredo Medical Center. The campus is an extension university from UTHSC in San Antonio, Texas. The university offers Doctoral Degrees in the medical and dental fields.

Economy

Texas Community Bank headquarters on McPherson Road
Duty-free Zone
El Portal Center
El Portal Center and Rio Grande plaza view from Nuevo Laredo
North Creek plaza in Laredo
Northeast Hillside Recreational Center
Downtown Laredo at the intersection of Convent and Iturbide Streets
Established in 1988, the quaint Charlie's Corona, a small establishment on San Bernardo Avenue in Laredo, specializes in steaks and Mexican cuisine.


Laredo has four South Texas banking institutions Falcon International Bankmarker, International Bank of Commercemarker, Laredo National Bankmarker, and Texas Community Bank. As a result of Laredo's location in North America, Interstate Highway 35 / Mexican Federal Highway 85, the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), dozens of twin assembly plants, and dozens of import export agencies to expedite trade, Laredo is the largest inland port in the United States, and Nuevo Laredomarker the largest in Latin America. Laredo is a shopping destination for Mexican shoppers from Northern Mexico.

Trade

More than 47 percent of United States international trade headed for Mexico and more than 36 percent of Mexican international trade crosses through the Laredo port of entry. Laredo's economy and lifestyle revolves around commercial and industrial warehousing, import, and export. As a major player of international trade, Laredo benefited from the passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The city's Laredo International Airportmarker has non-stop flights to Houstonmarker, Dallasmarker, and Las Vegas. The Laredo port of entry consists of five international bridges crossing the Rio Grande into the Mexican states of Tamaulipasmarker and Nuevo Leonmarker.

In 2008, Laredo had the second highest rate of auto theft in the United States, topped only by Modestomarker, Californiamarker. Many of the stolen automobiles, trucks, and sport utility vehicles are seized to carry narcotics and weapons into Mexico, according to Joe Wehrle of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The only Texas city on the high auto theft list, Laredo had 1,960 such thefts in 2008.

Retail sales

Retail sales attracts shoppers from Northern Mexico and South Texas. There are 2 indoor shopping malls located in the area and dozens of shopping centers. The Streets of Laredo Urban Mall is an association created by businesses on Iturbide Street in the San Agustin historical district to beautify and renovate the area. By 2009 Laredo will have an additional two malls which are currently under construction:

Labor market information

As of October 2007, Laredo's labor market was in the following industries by percentage of number employed: Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (32%), Information (1%), Financial Activity (5%), Professional and Business Services (6%), Education and Health Services (15%), Leisure and Hospitality (10%), Government (23%), Mining and Construction (5%), Manufacturing (2%), and Other Services (2%).

Laredo has increased the number of non-agricultural jobs from 55,100 in January 1996 to 86,600 in October 2007. Laredo has experienced a higher job growth rate (2%-6.5%) than the state as a whole because of expanded international trade through the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 2007, Laredo experienced a job growth rate of 2.5%. As of October 2007, the Laredo unemployment rate was 4.1% or 3,700 unemployed persons as compared to 3.9% in Texas statewide. This is a significant drop since the mid-1990s when Laredo's unemployment was over 15%.

Laredo has had positive job market growth since the mid-1990s, setbacks in the Mining (oil/gas) industry shifted a few thousand workers to other industries such as international trade and construction. Many large employers in the oil and gas industries shut down operations in Laredo and across Texas and shifted to foreign countries. The same effect occurred in the garment industry (Levis and Haggar) along the Texas border area, but Laredo experienced the closing of the one and only garment-producing company (Barry) of about 300 workers. Laredo's strong job growth rate in retail and transportation services limited the adverse effects of long-term unemployment in the few massive layoffs of the late 1990s. Laredo's vulnerability continue to exist in international trade due to unforeseen changes to Mexico's economy, immigration laws (along with daily border crossings: shoppers and commercial trade) and terrorism as the result of September 11.

People and culture

Annual festivals

The Washington's Birthday Celebration (WBCA) is a month long event that celebrates George Washington's Birthday. It was founded in 1898 by the Improved Order of the Red Men, local chapter Yaqui Tribe #59. It is the largest celebration of its kind in the United States, with 400,000 attendees annually. The first celebration was a success, and its popularity grew rapidly; in 1923 it received its state charter. In 1924, the Celebration featured its first Colonial Pageant, which featured 13 young girls from Laredo, representing the 13 original colonies. The celebration includes parades, a carnival, an air show, fireworks, live concerts, and a city-wide prom during which many of Laredo's elite dress in very formal attire. The related Jalapeño Festival is one of the United States' top 10 eating festivals.

Jamboozie is held in late January in downtown Laredo as part of the Washington Birthday Celebrations. Similar to New Orleans' Mardi Gras, the Jamboozie is a colorful event, with many people dressed in beads, masks, and flamboyant outfits.



Recreational

The area around the Laredo Entertainment Center has experienced substantial growth in recent years. Besides new housing developments, the area includes Hal's Landing, a restaurant/arcade that serves as a popular nightspot on the weekends. Also in the area are the dance clubs Las Cananas and Club Tonic, an upscale gym, and a small yet popular cafe named Cuadros. In development next to the Laredo Entertainment Center is a new baseball field that will house the Laredo Broncos.

Around the Springfield area, several restaurant/bars have set up residence. Some of these places include Agave Azul, Cosmos, Old No.2, Bleu Room, and Lima Sol. This area has proven to be especially popular with the college crowd.

Lake Casa Blanca

Lake Casa Blanca International State Parkmarker, located on Loop 20, contains a artificial lake along with cooking out, camping, picnicking, lake swimming, skiing, boating, and mountain biking. The most popular recreational use of the lake is fishing. A boat ramp and fishing pier is available on the eastern side of the lake.The lake is a popular destination for winter Texans. The park was operated by the City of Laredo and Webb County before it was acquired by the state in 1990 and opened in March 1991.

Golf

Laredo has two 18-hole golf courses; the Laredo Country Club and the Casa Blanca Golf Course. The Laredo Country Club is an 18-hole private course that features of golf. The golf course has a rating of 74.6, a slope rating of 133, and has a par of 72. The country club was designed by Joseph S. Finger and was opened in 1983. The Casa Blanca Golf Course is an 18-hole course that features of golf. The golf course has a rating of 72.5, a slope rating of 125, and has a par of 72. The golf course was designed by Leon Howard and was opened in 1967. There is also an 18-hole country club across the border in Nuevo Laredo. The Club Campestre Riviera del Bravo in Nuevo Laredo is an 18-hole that features of golf. The golf course has a rating of 71.1 and has a par of 72.

Parks, recreational centers, plazas, and baseball fields

Bruni Plaza in downtown Laredo


The City of Laredo owns eight recreational centers, thirty-four developed parks, twenty-two undeveloped parks or under construction, five baseball fields, and four plazas. The parks total area is .

In the November 4, 2008, general elections, voters by a 61-39 percent margin approved construction of a new baseball stadium to be built adjacent to the Laredo Entertainment Center. Funding will be derived from a sports venue fund established through a .25 percent municipal sales tax. In 2009, the fund had some $15 million in reserve.



Recreational centers
  • Canizales Boxing Gym
  • Cigarroa Recreational Center
  • D. D. Hachar Recreational Center
  • Farrias Recreational Center
  • Tarver Recreational Center
  • La Ladrilleria Recreational Center
  • NE Hillside Recreational Center
  • LBV Tech Recreational Center
Baseball parks
  • Al King Little League Park
  • East Martin Field
  • Community Baseball Fields
  • Cruz Little League Field
  • Veteran's Field
  • Field of Dreams (Coming in 2010)
Plazas
  • Bruni Plaza
  • Jarvis Plaza
  • San Agustin Plaza
  • St. Peter's Plaza


Developed parks
  • Albert Ochoa Park
  • Aldo Tatangelo Walkway
  • Azteca Park
  • Base Community Complex
  • Benavides Park
  • Blas Castañeda Park
  • Canizales Park
  • Chaparral Park
  • Circle Drive Park
  • Civic Center Pool
  • Del Mar Community Park
  • Dryden Park
  • East Central Park
  • Father McNoboe Park
  • Freddy Benavides Complex
  • Garcia-Vela Park
  • La Ladrillera Park
  • Las Brisas Park
  • Las Palmas Park Trail
  • Los Dos Laredos Park
  • Lyon Street Skate Park
  • Market Street Complex
  • Noon lions Park
  • Ochoa Sanchez Park
  • Santa Fe Park
  • Santa Rita Park
  • Scott Street Park
  • Seven Flags Park
  • Taylor Street Park
  • Three Points Park & Pool
  • Toddler Park
  • Villa del Sol Park
  • Zacate Creek Park
  • Zacate Linear Park


Undeveloped parks
  • Andrew Circle
  • Anna Truck
  • Bruni Park
  • Century City Park
  • Cheyenne
  • Country Club Estates
  • Dillyworth Park
  • Eastwoods Park
  • Eisletter Park
  • El Cuatro Park
  • El Paseo
  • Farias
  • George Washington
  • Indian Sunset
  • Inner City Park
  • Lafayette Park
  • Loma Alta
  • El Eden
  • Regency Park
  • Slaughter Park
  • South Laredo Park
  • Village Heights


David B. Barkley Plaza
David B.
Barkley Plaza flag
memorial honoring the forty-one Hispanic soldiers who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor was built in Laredo, Texas in 2002. The plaza was named after the only Laredo Congressional Medal of Honor recipient David B. Barkley. The David B. Barkley Plaza has a bronze statue of David B. Barkley and an American flag measuring 100ft by 50ft and is 308ft tall making it the tallest flagpole in the United States. The memorial is located at .

Museums





Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol Building Museummarker is located in the downtown historical district next to the historical La Posada Hotel. It was once the Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol building now showcases memorabilia from the short lived Republic of the Rio Grande. It displays pictures, books, and furniture from the 19th century Laredo area. It offers guided tours for school age children and adults year-round. Because of this Republic, Laredo had flown seven flags instead of the traditional Six Flags over Texas.

The Laredo Center for the Arts houses three galleries.


The Laredo Center for the Arts is located in downtown Laredo. The building houses three galleries: the Goodman Gallery, the Laredo Art League Gallery and the Lilia G. Martinez Gallery. The Center for the Arts, located in the former City Hall offices known as "The Mercado," displays regional artwork and provides community events for children and adults. The Laredo Little Theater provides Laredo with live stage performances. The theater also hosts comedians.

Imaginarium of South Texas (formerly Laredo Children's Museum), located in Mall del Norte, provides a hands-on experience with science, technology, and art for Laredo's youth. A second museum is planned on the Texas A&M International Universitymarker campus.

The Nuevo Santander Museum Complex comprises restored buildings of Fort McIntoshmarker, a historical collection of photographs of the fort, the main guardhouse, which contains World War I (1914–1918) memorabilia, and a science and technology museum.

Planetarium

The Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center Planetarium is located on the Texas A&M International Universitymarker Laredo campus. The Planetarium surrounds audiences in a dome with an accurate image of the night sky showing all the motions and cycles of the Sun, Moon, planets, and constellations in the sky creating a multi-media experience in revealing the wonders of the cosmos. The Planetarium introduces to you to a life-long acquaintance with the sky and an interpretion of the Universe that appeals to both the mind and eye. The Digistar 3 system at the TAMIU Planetarium takes audiences on a fantastic voyage through the cosmos and beyond.

Library

The Laredo Public Library at the intersection of McPherson Road and Calton Street
The Laredo Public Library was first housed on the second floor of the City Hall, now known as the Market Hall, in 1916. In 1974, the Laredo Public Library moved to the historic Bruni Plaza in downtown Laredo. In 1993, the citizens of Laredo approved the construction of a new main library, which opened its doors on February 1, 1998. The Laredo Public Library has a . main library and two branches. The main library is located in central Laredo; the Bruni Plaza Branch is located downtown east of Washington Street, and the Santo Niño Branch is located in south Laredo.

Nightlife



Laredo has many known nightlife establishments. "The Strip", located right off of Del Mar Boulevard, has also proven to be a popular party scene, featuring popular restaurant/bars such as Agave Azul, Old No.2, Cosmos, Crawdaddy's, and The Bleu Room. The F Lounge, formerly known as the F Bar, is a popular club located in central Laredo.

Another establishment is Hal's Landing located next to the Laredo Entertainment Center. Hal's Landing is a full-service restaurant with a bar, pool tables, and a large room filled with arcade games. Also next to the LEC is the new Hollywood Theaters.

Churches and architecture

The former Hamilton Hotel, tallest building in Laredo, provides residences for the elderly.


The San Agustin Cathedral Clock Tower is the second tallest structure in Laredo.
The San Agustin Cathedral Clock Tower is the second tallest structure in Laredo.


A view of San Agustin Cathedral from the plaza park


Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is located in the Heights neighborhood of Laredo.


[[Image:San Luis Rey Catholic Church, Laredo, TX IMG 0872.JPG|
left|thumb|San Luis Rey Catholic Church with bell tower at the intersection of Sanders and San Jose streets in Laredo opened on September 16, 1951.]]





The striking Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in inner-city Laredo is located next to the parochial school of the same name at the intersection of San Jorge Avenue and Callaghan Street.


The Church of the Redeemer (completed 1909) is a Catholic congregation at the intersection of Main and Garcia streets.




Refurbished (2009) St. Patrick Catholic Church at 555 East Del Mar Blvd.




Laredo’s architecture is of Spanish Colonial, American, and Mexicanmarker flavor. Most of Laredo's Spanish colonial buildings are located in downtown Laredo. American architecture can be seen along Interstate Highway 35 and in the downtown area.

Heavily Roman Catholic in church affiliation, Laredo has impressive houses of worship in multiple denominations. The oldest congregation, San Agustin Cathedral in the downtown historic plaza, dates to the founding of the city in 1755. Other Catholic congregations included Our Lady of Guadalupe, an imposing structure in the inner-city at San Jorge Avenue and Callaghan Street, Blessed Sacrament and Christ the King, both in the Heights neighborhood, St. John Neumann church at Hillside Road and Springfield Avenue, San Martin de Porres at 1704 Sandman Street near the municipal water tower, and the large St. PatrickCatholic Church on Del Mar Boulevard, founded in 1970 and renovated in 2009. The Catholic diocese office, the headquarters of Bishop James Tamayo, is located on Corpus Christi Street north of Guadalupe Street. Still another Catholic congregation, the Church of the Redeemer at the intersection of Main and Garcia streets downtown, observes its centennial on August 29, 2009. San Luis Rey Catholic Church at the intersection of Sanders and San Jose opened on September 16, 1951. Outside is a flowered prayer shrine.

The First United Methodist, the Presbyterian, and Episcopal congregations are located in the Heights neighborhood of south central Laredo. In 1963, First Baptist Church moved from downtown to the Heights neighborhood near J. W. Nixon High School. The congregation under pastor Ronald A. Scott relocated on March 2, 2008, to a new structure on Bartlett Street north off Del Mar Boulevard. The previous sanctuary on Malinche Avenue was sold to the Laredo Independent School District for expansion of Nixon High School facilities.

A meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is situated at the intersection of Hillside Road and Cactus Drive. Laredo also has a Lutheran congregation and nondenominational Grace Bible Church off Hillside and Church of the Crossroads on International Boulevard. Another Baptist congregation, United Baptist (pastor Mike Barrera), is also on International. The First Assembly of God draws a large congregation to its sanctuary on McPherson Road. There are also Spanish-language congregations in nearly all denominations as well as non-denominational churches.

List of the tallest buildings in Laredo, Texas:

Health care



Providence Surgical & Medical Center in Laredo
Providence Surgical & Medical Center in Laredo


The Laredo Specialty Hospital


The Cigarroa Heart Clinic and Medical Center on East Calton Road


In addition to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio branch located within the D.D. Hachar Building complex, there are five other principal medical centers in Laredo: the Laredo Medical Center, Doctor's Hospital in northernmost Laredo, Gateway Community Health Center, Providence Surgical & Medical Center, and the Laredo Specialty Hospital.

The services of Laredo Medical Center include:Doctor's Hospitalis the second largest medical center in Laredo. The hospital complex is over complex with 180 licensed beds in a campus and is affiliated to Universal Health Services. It is located in Loop 20in north Laredo. Behind the main building the Doctors Regional Cancer Treatment Center which offers comprehensive cancer services.

The Providence Surgical & Medical Centeris an ambulatory health care center located in north-central Laredo which is also owed by Universal Health Services.
Doctor's Hospital services include:

The Gateway Community Health Centeris the third largest medical center in Laredo. The health center's main building is and three stories high. The Medical center recently moved in 2006 to its new $11,000,000 building. The main Gateway Community Health Center is located in East Laredo close to U.S.Highway 59. It also has three branches in the Laredo area: the South Clinic, El Cenizo Community Center, and Quad City Community Center.
Gateway Community Health Center services include:The Laredo Specialty Hospitalis the fourth largest medical center in Laredo. It is owned by Ernest Health Inc.and was founded by Elmo Lopez, Jr., on May 22, 2006, and admitted its first patient within hours of operation. The grand opening was held in March 2007.
House Majority Leader Thomas Dale DeLay (2003–2006) was born in Laredo.


People from Laredo

Notable people born in Laredo



Notable people residing in Laredo but born elsewhere



Fictional characters from Laredo

  • Johnny Rio, the main character from John Rechy's novel Numbers, lived in Laredo before going to Los Angelesmarker


Sports

Laredo Bucks

Rio Grande Plaza
Laredo is home to the two-time President's Cup Champion Laredo Bucks hockey team, which play at the Laredo Entertainment Centermarker.The Bucks' successful coach is the native Canadian Terry Ruskowski(born 1954). The Laredo Bucks are part of the Southeast Division of the Central Hockey Leagueand were inaugurated in the 2002–2003 season. The Bucks were awarded Franchise of the Year in their first year of operation. The Laredo Bucks are the 2003–2004 and the 2005–2006 Central Hockey League President's Cup Champions as well as the 2003-04 Governors’ Cup Regular Season Champions. They have made the playoffs since the first year in play and have gone to the finals the past four years, setting a new CHL/WPHL record for consecutive Finals appearances and have won 2/4. They have also been the Southeast Division and Southern Conference Champions the last 4 years. The Laredo Bucks have also been in the top 5 every year since their inauguration in attendance.

Laredo Heat

The Laredo Heatis a United Soccer LeaguesPremier Development Leagueteam. The team's home stadium is the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complexmarker.The team was founded in 2004. It plays in the Mid-South Division of the Southern Conference In the 2006 season the Laredo Heat finished Runner-up yet made it only to the first round of the Open Cup. In the 2007 season, the Laredo Heat were the Southern Conference champions. And in 2007 Laredo heat won its first PDL Championship.

Laredo Broncos

The Laredo Broncosare a baseball team in the independentUnited Leagueand Texas Winter League. The Laredo Broncos plays its home games at Veterans Fieldmarker, while its new state of the art baseball complex (Field of Dreamsmarker) is built.The team was founded in 2005.



Stadiums and arenas

Laredo Entertainment Center

Entrance to the Student Activity Complex
Laredo Entertainment Centermarkeris located at Loop 20 and Jacaman Road.LEC is the home of the Laredo Bucks and the Laredo Lobos. The , $36.5 million facility seats 8,002 people for ice hockey and arena football, and up to 10,000 for concerts. It has 14 luxury suites, four meeting rooms and a private club for 200 charter members. It was completed in mid 2002 with the help of the Laredo sales tax increase of .25 percent. Sports that can be played at the LEC include Hockey, Arena Football, Indoor Soccer, Basketball, Wrestling, and Boxing. The arena also hosts many events such as The Laredo Hunting and Fishing Show, Miss Texas USA, Laredo Home and Garden Show, and high school graduation ceremonies. Well-known artists and bands have performed in the arena such as Tool, Aerosmith,KISS,Elton John, Styx, ZZ TOP, Ricky Martin, George Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and many more.

Student Activity Complex

Student Activity Complexmarker is located on State Highway 359.It is utilized for United Independent School District's students. It was built in 2004 and it contains the city's only artificial grass stadium. The SAC was also the home of the Laredo Heat. The capacity is 8,500. Sports played at the SAC include football, soccer, and baseball.

Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex

Texas A&M International University Soccer Complexmarker (also known as Dustdevil Field and TAMIU Soccer Complex) was built in 2006 and renovated in 2007.The soccer complex is located in Laredo, Texas in the Texas A&M International Universitymarker campus.The complex has two soccer stadiums with a seating capacity of 4,000 each. The Dustdevil Field is the new home stadium to the 2007 champion team Laredo Heatmember of the United Soccer LeaguesPremier Development League(PDL) and the TAMIU Dustdevilswomen and men's soccer teams member of the Heartland Conference, NCAADivision II.

Shirley Field

The original Shirley Field was located next to the Civic Center and R&T Martin High School on San Bernardo Ave. It was built in 1937, along with Martin High School. Shirley Field was the location for outdoor athletics for Laredo Independent School District and also hosts the annual Border Olympics events. It seats up to 10,000 fans with additional seating at the 2 endzones. Professional Mexican soccer teams have played various exhibition games here, notting that the real grass allows for "better" soccer games. The various sports played on the stadium are football, soccer and track & field events. Major renovations are slated for this historic stadium. On November of 2009 Shirley Field was demolished and it will be rebuilt by the 2011 football season. The total cost of the reconstruction is expected to be $12,000,000 and it will seat 8,000 fans and feature artificial turf.

Krueger Field

Krueger Field is located in north Laredo and is owned by United Independent School District. The stadium has a capacity of 3,000 and is used to play football and soccer high school games. It is home to United High School's and John B. Alexander High School's football and soccer teams.

Veterans Field

Veterans Fieldmarker is a baseball park which was previously known as West Martin Field.It is the home field for the Laredo Broncos. Its capacity is about 5,000. Major renovation is happening to update the 1950 ball park. Veterans Field was also the home to the five time champion Mexican Baseball Leagueteam Tecolotes de los Dos Laredosfrom 1985 to 2003. Veterans Field is also home to the Texas A&M International Universitymarker's Heartland Conference NCAA Division II Dustdevils baseball team.

Field of Dreams

The Field of Dreamsmarker is the nickname of a current City of Laredomarker project in progress.The project consists of building a new Baseball field near the Laredo Entertainment Centermarker (LEC).The project was first approved by the city council and was voted in favor of (with 61.32% of the votes in favor 38.68% against) constructing it with money collected by a .25% sales tax increase for the LEC since 2004of which there is a surplus of about $15 million. The stadium will be home to the United Baseball League's Laredo Broncos. The stadium will be used for soccer leagues, youth and prep baseball games, along with other youth sports. The stadium will also be used for soccer leagues, youth and prep baseball games, along with other youth sports.

Laredo Civic Center

Prior to the construction of the Laredo Entertainment Center most major concerts and shows were performed at the Laredo Civic Center. The Laredo Civic Center complex has an auditoriums with 1,979 seats and a banquet and exihibit hall with 1,635 seats.

Transportation

Air

Laredo International Airport
Tex-Mex Railway International Bridge view from Laredo
Laredo is served by the Laredo International Airportmarker.Daily flights are available to Houston (George Bush Intercontinental Airportmarker) and to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airportmarker.Tri-weekly flights to Las Vegas, Nevadamarker are available.After Laredo Air Force Base closed in the mid-1970s, the federal government handed over the old air force base and property to the City of Laredo for a new municipal airport. From the mid-1970s until mid-1990s, the airport utilized a small terminal for passenger airline service and several old hangars for air cargo and private aircraft. A new state-of-the art passenger terminal was built along the newly constructed Loop 20 to accommodate larger jets and to increase passenger air travel through Laredo. Expansion of air cargo facilities, taxiways and aprons, air cargo carriers such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, BAX, and others have responded by adding commercial air cargo jet services. Laredo also has two medical helipads, at Laredo Medical Center and Doctor's Hospital.

Mass transit

El Metro is the mass transit system that operates in Laredo with 21 fixed routes and Paratransit services with approximately 4.6 million passengers per year. El Metro works with a fleet of over 47 fixed route buses, 2 trolleys and 18 Paratransit/El Lift vans. El Metro hub is located in downtown Laredo at El Metro Transit Center. The Center also houses Greyhound Bus Lines and provides fee-based daily parking for downtown shoppers and workers.

Rural transit

Rural transportation is provided by the Webb Countyoperated "El Aguila Rural Transportation" (the Eagle) bus services. El Aguila provides fixed daily routes from Rural Webb County (Brunimarker, El Cenizomarker, Mirando Citymarker, Oiltonmarker, and Rio Bravomarker) to the downtown Laredo Transit Center.

International bridges



Major highways

Major highways in Laredo and their starting and ending points:
*Complete List of Highways in Laredo, Texas


Major highways in Nuevo Laredo and their starting and ending points:

Surrounding cities






Nearby cities



Points of interest



Sister cities

During the month of January Laredo sponsors the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival which was founded in 2003. The festival is an internaional business, trade, tourism, and cultural expo. All of Laredo's sister citiesare invited to participate. In 2004, the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival received the best overall Program award from the Sister Cities International.The following list is of Laredo's sister cities.

Pending:

Media

Newspapers



Television



AM radio



FM radio



References

  1. U.S. Census Factfinder 2006 Population estimate for Laredo, Texas
  2. World Gazetteer: America - largest cities (per geographical entity)
  3. Laredo Origin
  4. Laredo Origin
  5. U.S. Census Bureau Estimate for the Laredo, Texas Area in 2005
  6. U.S. Census Bureau Estimate for the Laredo, Texas Metropolitan Area in 2006
  7. " Post Office Location - LAREDO." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  8. LISD Home Page
  9. UISD Home Page
  10. San Augustin High School Private Catholic School
  11. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/hdl2.html
  12. Laredo Community College Home Page
  13. Texas A&M International University Home Page
  14. University of Texas Health Science Center Laredo Campus Home Page
  15. Laredo Morning Times "National report lists Laredo as largest inland port"
  16. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas "Southwest Economy "
  17. Taryn White, "Auto theft up: Border crime keys Laredo's rise to 2nd on U.S. list", Laredo Mortning Times, April 15, 2009, pp. 1, 14A
  18. Shopping Demographics in the Laredo Area
  19. LareDOS Article "Streets of Laredo Urban Mall
  20. Laredo Town Center Plans
  21. Piazza del Sol Plans
  22. Laredo Factory Outlet Center Planned
  23. Laredo Labor Market, South Texas Workforce Commission
  24. Washington's Birthday Celebration Association Home Page
  25. Texas Parks and Wildlife, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park
  26. Laredo Country Club Website
  27. Casa Blanca Golf Course Website
  28. Golf Link; Laredo Country Club golf course information
  29. Golf Link; Casa Blanca Golf Course Information
  30. World Golf; Club Campestre Riviera del Bravo Information
  31. Parks & Recreation Department
  32. Zach Lindsey, "Stadium plans" Council ready to pick architect for new ball field", Laredo Morning Times, May 14, 2009, pp. 1, 14A
  33. Laredo Morning Times; Monument to medal holders unveiled early
  34. a Flagpole Spec? The story behind the design and construction of the world’s tallest flagpoles.
  35. Republic of the Rio Grande Museum Home Page
  36. Laredo Center for the Arts Home Page
  37. Imaginarium of South Texas Home Page
  38. Second Imaginarium Museum on TAMIU Campus
  39. The Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center Planetarium Home Page
  40. Laredo Public LIbrary Homepage
  41. Laredo Public Library Bruni Branch
  42. Laredo Public Library Santo Niño Branch
  43. Emporis; Laredo Buildings
  44. Doctor's Hospital Of Laredo Homepage
  45. Providence Surgical & Medical Center
  46. Gateway Community Health Center
  47. Laredo Specialty Hospital
  48. Laredo Morning Times article; New Stadium Approved
  49. Laredo Morning Times article; Laredoans of the Year; LMT names sports leaders Shashi and Priya Vaswani (renovation of the TAMIU Soccer Complex)
  50. KGNS TV article: "Shirley Field demolished, LISD to award construction contract soon"
  51. Laredo Morning Times; Webb County Vote Totals
  52. Laredo Morning TImes; Vote Goes Strongly In Favor of Stadium
  53. Laredo Civic Center
  54. visitlaredo.com Laredo International Sister Cities Festival
  55. Visit Laredo sister cities (twin cities)
  56. City of Laredo; list of sister cities
  57. Laredo International Sister Cities


External links



Rank
! Building Name !! Height!! Floors
Year Built
01 Hamilton Hotel 150 ft (46 m) 12 1923
02 San Agustin Cathedralmarker 141 ft (43 m) N/A 1872
03 Rio Grande Plaza - 15 1975
04 Holiday Inn Laredo - 14 1984
05 Laredo National Bank - 10 1926
06 Senior Citizens Home - 8 -
07 Laredo Medical Center - 7 -
08 Gateway Inn - 6 -
09 Rialto Hotel - 6 1925
10 Walker Plaza - 5 -
  • Adult Primary Care
  • In-Patient Care
  • Obstetrical Care
  • Family Planning Clinic
Club
Sport
League
Venue
Established
Championships
Laredo Bucks
Hockey
CHL
Laredo Entertainment Centermarker
2002
2 (2004) & (2006)
Laredo Broncos
Baseball
UBL / TWL
Veterans Fieldmarker
2006
0
Laredo Heat
Soccer
USL PDL
TAMIU Soccer Complexmarker
2004
1 (2006)
City Population Distance (km)
Nuevo Laredomarker, Tamaulipasmarker 355,827 0mi (0 km)
Monclovamarker, Coahuilamarker 294,191 124mi (199 km)
Monterreymarker, Nuevo Leonmarker 3,664,334 125mi (201 km)
Reynosamarker, Tamaulipasmarker 526,888 130mi (209 km)
Corpus Christi, Texasmarker 409,741 131mi (211 km)
San Antonio, Texasmarker 1,942,217 154mi (248 km)
Heroica Matamorosmarker, Tamaulipasmarker 462,157 167mi (268 km)
Saltillomarker, Coahuilamarker 648,929 181mi (291 km)
Name
Frequency
Language
City
Website
Laredo Morning Times
Daily
English
Laredo
lmtonline.com
LareDOS
Monthly
English
Laredo
laredosnews.com
El Diario de Nuevo Laredo
Daily
Spanish
Nuevo Laredo
diario.net
El Mañana
Daily
Spanish
Nuevo Laredo
elmanana.com
Primera Hora
Daily
Spanish
Nuevo Laredo
primerahora.com
Ultima Hora
Daily
Spanish
Nuevo Laredo
ultimahora.com
CH
VC
DT
DTV
TWC
Callsign
Network
City of License
Official Website
2
-
-
-
99
XEFE
Televisa
Nuevo Laredo
-
8
8.1
15.1
8
10
KGNSmarker
NBC
Laredo
pro8news.com
8.2
15.2
19
KTXW
The CW
Laredo
Laredo CW
8.3
15.3
25
KGNSmarker
Telemundo
Laredo
telemundo.com
-
-
-
9
11
KLRNmarker
PBS
San Antonio
klrn.org
11
11.1
25.1
-
14
XHBR
XEW
Nuevo Laredo
esmas.com
-
-
-
12
9
KSATmarker
ABC
San Antonio
ksat.com
13
13.1
31.1
13
6
KVTVmarker
CBS
Laredo
cbs.com
21
21.1
50.1
-
98
XHLNA
TV Azteca 13
Nuevo Laredo
tvazteca.com
25
27.2
19.2
-
77
KETFmarker
Telefutura
Laredo
ketftv.com
27
27.1
19.1
27
12
KLDOmarker
Univision
Laredo
kldotv.com
-
27.4
19.4
-
-
KLDO
LATV
Laredo
kldotv.com
33
33.1
51.1
-
-
XHLAT
TV Azteca 7
Nuevo Laredo
tvazteca.com
39
27.3
19.3
39
16
KXOFmarker
Fox/MyNet
Laredo
myfoxlaredo.com
45
-
-
-
15
XHNAT
Multimedios
Nuevo Laredo
multimedios.tv
55
-
-
-
4
KNEXmarker
Azteca America
Laredo
aztecaamerica.com
57
11.2
25.2
-
-
XHLAR
Televisa
Nuevo Laredo
-
68
-
-
-
-
KLMV-LPmarker
Religious
Laredo
klmv68.com
Frequency
Callsign
Brand
City of License
Website
530
WPMQ285
TxDOT HAR
Laredo
-
790
XEFE
La Mera Ley
Nuevo Laredo
-
890
KVOZ
Radio Cristiana
Laredo
lanuevaradiocristiana.com
960
XEK
La Grande
Nuevo Laredo
xek.com
1000
XENLT
Radio Formula
Nuevo Laredo
radioformula.com
1090
XEWL
W-Radio
Nuevo Laredo
wradio.com.mx
1300
KLAR
Radio Poder
Laredo
feypoder.com
1340
XEBK
exa FM
Nuevo Laredo
exafm.com.mx
1370
XEGNK
Radio Mexicana
Nuevo Laredo
gruposiete.com
1410
XEAS
Ke Buena
Nuevo Laredo
kebuena.com
1490
KLNT
Radio Norteño
Laredo
-
1550
XENU
La Rancherita
Nuevo Laredo
-
1610
WPMQ285
TxDOT HAR
Laredo
-
Frequency
Callsign
Brand
Format
City of License
Website
88.1
KHOY
Catholic Radio
Religious
Laredo
khoy.org
88.9
XHLDO
Radio Tamaulipas
Public Radio
Nuevo Laredo
tamaulipas.gob
89.9
KBNL
Radio Manantial
Religious
Laredo
[20410]
91.3
XHNOE
Stereo 91.3 FM
Spanish Contemporary
Nuevo Laredo
xhnoe.com
92.7
KJBZ
Z93
Tejano
Laredo
Z93.com
94.1
XHTLN
Imagen / RMX Laredo
Talk / Contemporary
Nuevo Laredo
rmx.com.mx
94.9
KQURmarker
The Works
Mainstream Rock
Laredo
jammin949.com
95.7
XHBK
Exa FM
Spanish Contemporary
Nuevo Laredo
exanuevolaredo.com
96.5
NEW
Tu Radio
Norteño
Nuevo Laredo
-
97.1
XHNLO
Multimedios Radio
Spanish Contemporary
Nuevo Laredo
multimedios.com
98.1
KRRG
Big Buck Country
Country
Laredo
krrg.com
99.3
XHNK
Digital Ecstasy
Classic Hits
Nuevo Laredo
stjohnradio.com
100.5
KBDR
La Ley
Tejano
Laredo
101.5
XHAS
Ke Buena
Norteño
Nuevo Laredo
kebuena.com
102.3
XHMW
Los 40 Principales
Spanish Pop
Nuevo Laredo
-
104.5
NEW
La Más Pesada
Norteño
Nuevo Laredo
lamaspesada.fm
104.9
XHNLR
Radio UAT
University Radio
Nuevo Laredo
radiouni.uat.mx
106.1
KNEX
Hot 106.1
Urban / Rhythmic Top 40
Laredo
hot1061.com
106.5
NEW
La Tremenda
Norteño
Nuevo Laredo
tremenda.com.mx
107.3
XHGTS
Digital 107.3
Spanish Pop
Nuevo Laredo
-
162.55
WXK26
NOAA Weather Radio
Weather
Laredo
-

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