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Farming Field

Community Description

The location, the city and the people of La Joya, Texas.


Nestled on gentle rolling hills between two lakes along western Hidalgo County sits the City of La Joya, Texas.  La Joya is a land of transitions, where urban meets rural, the plains meet hills and the past meets the future.  La Joya is bounded on the east by the historic community of Penitas (established in 1520); on the south by Texas Wildlife Management Areas, U.S. Fish & Wildlife property and the Rio Grande River; on the west by Sullivan City and the historic Los Ebanos Ferry; and on the north by thousands of acres of verdant farmlands.  The recently completed $206 million U.S. Expressway 83 Relief Route connects the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro with Rio Grande City and Laredo along the United States-Mexico border.


In 1926 residents of western Hidalgo County established the City of La Joya as a general-law municipal corporation and body politic.  It became inactive during the Great Depression, then re-elected a City Commission in 1965.


In 2013 La Joya became a Home-Rule municipal corporation governed by a City Council composed of a Mayor and four Councilmembers, all elected at-large.  The City has adopted a Council-Manager form of government and has earned a Council-Manager Recognition by the International City Management Association (ICMA).

ICMA logo


With approximately 5,000 residents according to the U.S. Census, La Joya enjoys small town comforts with the convenience of nearby metro areas.  But La Joya really is embodied in the heart of its youth, the spirit of its ancestors and the pride of a community. 

Rugged individuals like Jose Matias Tijerina established a frontier community in Havana.  Descendants of Nathaniel Jackson and Matilda Hicks were among founders of La Joya.  Their family helped enslave people along the Valley’s underground railroad.  Havana resident Patricio Perez joined the just cause of fighting for freedom and equality with the Union during the Civil War.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community.

– Cesar Chavez

Education has been central to La Joya, having one of the first schools in the region.  Coyote pride on the gridiron is manifested through community activism for social justice.  Leo J. Leo became a prominent civil rights activist during the 1960s before becoming Mayor.  His son, Billy Leo also was active in state and national elections.

This is the legacy of a rural community in the life of its state and nation.

Official Designations

It's official.  The City has designated official flora and fauna for La Joya.  Naturally.  


Retama (Guaiacum Angustifolium)

This beautiful native tree bears fine green leaflets, green bark and bright yellow flowers.

Retama tree



Lantana (Lantana Horrida)

Showy heads of yellow, orange and red flowers decorate natural sites and yards around the City.


Lyside (Kricogonia Lyside)


This attractive, bright yellow or white butterfly thrives in chaparrals.

Kricogonia Lyside butterfly



Roadrunner (Geococcyx Californianus)

This large, brown, crested, long-tailed bird runs along the roads, feeds and nests in chaparral, often entertaining its human admirers.


Coyote (Canis Latrans)

Indigenous peoples of North America honor Brother Coyote and the people of the Border Region honor Mano Coyote with tales of its intelligence and wily exploits, and La Joya ISD support their beloved mascot.


More Info...

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