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20200217 Bentsen Palm RV Park Cinderella Rescue Donation DAB 4468 webSometimes those of us who live in the Rio Grande Valley just take for granted all the wonders that surround us. Regardless of our age, we have so many opportunities to enjoy our life.

For the young or more active, how about canoeing down the Rio Grande River or perhaps kayaking in the Arroyo Colorado or in the Bay at nearby South Padre Island. Hiking trails and nature parks are scattered all over our semi-tropical area. Spring and Fall migrations attract many residents and visitors who want to add to their Birding Life List. For those of us who are more sedentary, river boats can take us up and down the river. Simply said, the Rio Grande Valley is virtually a natural paradise.

There are so many opportunities for travel and exploring. How about a Sunday afternoon drive down what is now referred to as the Memorial Highway. At one time bandits on horseback rode in this area often intercepting and robbing the mail wagons that not only carried the mail but often more valuable payrolls. Later this same road became the thoroughfare for the Oblate Fathers who were the ministers of the Christian faith to the ranches scattered along the river road. Those ministers were named the Cavalry for Christ.

Still later and now in the mid 1800's, the road became the connection from one military fort to another and the road was renamed Military Highway. Zachary Taylor and probably Robert E. Lee rode with their troops along this route that connected Port Isabel to Fort Brown in Brownsville to Fort Ringgold in Rio Grande City. Today fields on each side of the road are planted year-round with different crops like, maize, cotton, onions and sugar cane.

If you want to explore even further, why not visit the King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the world. Continuing further is Galveston with cruise ships departing for the Caribbean. Just a few more hours and you can be in San Antonio, home to the Alamo and the enchanting River Walk. A Texas hidden jewel is found in Schulenburg home to the Painted Churches. Schulenburg is very close to La Grange, the barbeque capital.

Maybe you prefer to use your time to help your fellow man. There is certainly a chance for you to volunteer your time and talents. The schools always need volunteers to Help One Student to Succeed. This program - called HOSTS - gives you an opportunity to tutor a child who is struggling a little in school. Or perhaps your skill is in carpentry - why not check out Habitat for Humanity - they always need extra hands as they construct homes for those who qualify and need bigger and better housing.
There are so many opportunities for all of us....to explore, to learn, and to share. Even if you want to become involved internationally, the Mexican border is very close. There are Orphanages for children who need extra help, nursing homes where extra attention to the elderly is needed. For those who have medical skills, some of our local doctors periodically visit those less fortunate who need medical attention. Some of the volunteers in this program have no medical skills but can assist with organization, translations, and registration.

Just let it be said, the Rio Grande Valley has something for everyone. All we have to do is look around us. We need to just open our eyes to the beauty and the opportunities that surround us.