Profile of the Reynosa and McAllen Region

The Reynosa and McAllen region is made up of the metropolitan area of Reynosa, McAllen, and their suburbs. Located along the Mexico-US border. The city of Reynosa is part of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, McAllen is situated in Texas. Reynosa is situated on the southern bank of the Rio Grande, while McAllen is located to the north across the river. The area is home to around 2.5 million people. This region is the third-most-populous area on the US-Mexico border.

The McAllen–Hidalgo–Reynosa International Bridge is a road bridge over the Rio Grande that connects Reynosa in the state of Tamaulipas to Hidalgo and McAllen in Texas. 


an image-of-the-main-plaza-in-Reynosa

Reynosa is located in the north-central Tamaulipas, Mexico. It lies just across the Rio Grande and is situated 38 m above the sea level. In 2020, the population of its metro area has been estimated to be 899,000. Reynosa has a transportation center and a small tourist district. As a port of entry, it can be accessed from Texas and Mexico by air, railroad, and highway.


In 1748, an expedition was carried out by Colonel José de Escandón y Helguera to create 14 villages, following a new province plan. Reynosa was one of those villages. With 27 inhabitants, Reynosa was founded in 1749 under the order of José de Escandón y Helguera.

The flood of 1800 swept people off the land. Canoes and rafts were used to save people’s lives, who then took shelter in the hills of El Morillo. In 1802, Reynosa was moved five miles to the east. Reynosa’s initial name was Villa de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Reinosa, and it was home to 50 families. The name Reynosa was given to pay homage to a town of the same name in Spain, which was the birthplace of Juan Francisco de Güemes.

An interesting fact about Reynosa is that in 1810, its habitants rebelled against the Spanish rule. It was in 1926 when the state council declared Reynosa a city.

Economy and Industry

A significant portion of the economy of Reynosa is based on cattle raising and farming. For this reason, its economy got a considerable boost when the irrigation system was introduced in 1935.  With the introduction of the irrigation system, pasturage was improved, and there was increased production of corn (maize), cotton, sugarcane, and other crops.

Reynosa has petrochemical plants and oil refineries, which serve the fields near it, while its pipelines carry natural gas to Monterrey in the southwest, and to the US. Reynosa’s industries include cotton mills, sawmills, distilleries, and brick plants, among others. It is an industrial hub, with the majority of its industries dealing with electronics or automotive engineering. From specialized engineers to directs labor, its industries employ over 110,000 people.

Thousands of people are killed in Reynosa every year, mainly due to the conflict between the Gulf and the Zetas drug cartels. Despite this, there has been considerable economic growth in Reynosa in recent years, as more and more manufacturing companies have set up in the city, generating more jobs than there are workers in Reynosa.


A report published in 2014 found that Mexican students have a very high enrolment rate in primary and lower secondary education. Still, the enrolment rate in higher secondary education is relatively low, with there also being a high dropout rate in schools. Not having the resources or ability to continue their secondary education, young adults also do not have access to better jobs in the future, due to lack of academic credentials.


Reynosa gets short, mild winters, with the temperature ranging from 52 °F to 72 °F. The summers are quite hot, with an average of 86 °F. From May to August, temperatures can exceed 104 °F. May and June are the rainiest months.

Tourist Attractions


Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an architectural monument in Reynosa. It was built in 1810 in a neo-classical style. Other historical monuments include Hidalgo, Juárez, Reynosa Cultural Park, and Morelos. Harvest Fair is held each year in August, and on March 5, the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe also starts. During the festivities, performers wear colorful attires and perform various dances.




McAllen is located in the southern part of Texas, US, in the area called the lower Rio Grande valley. Its population was found out to be 143,268 in 2019 by the US government. McAllen is among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It is a culturally diverse city that is also an important tourist location. When it comes to conducting trade with Mexico, McAllen is among the most important ports of entry. 


A large number of the city’s population is of Mexican descent, and there have been some tensions between the people of Mexican descent and the white people who settled here. The point of tension was the transformation from McAllen’s ranching economy to a farming economy.

In 1904, John McAllen and his son donated some of their lands to ensure railway tracks would reach the Santa Anita Ranch. In the same year, the McAllen Townsite Company was formed. By 1905, a new community was established, which was named after John McAllen, who was a Scottish settler. By 1911, the population had increased to 1000, and citrus fruits, figs, alfalfa, corn, and cotton were being cultivated. The town received a charter of incorporation under the name McAllen in 1911. 

The population had reached 6000 by the 1920s. In the 20s, the town population increased rapidly as factories and plants were set up. By 1940, trade had become efficient due to the construction of an international suspension bridge, which made McAllen a central port of entry to Mexico. By 1960, McAllen grew to become a global hub and was a major trade port with Mexico. In the 1980s, the foreign trade of McAllen flourished, and the population had reached 38000, with farming, retail, and tourism becoming the booming industries in McAllen.

a water body-in-front -of-the-Convention-Center

Economy and Industry

In the early twentieth century, McAllen’s economy was based almost entirely on agriculture. Trade and tourism flourished after the McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa bridge was built in 1941.

Today, tourism and international trade are the most important sources for driving revenue for the city. Further, there are thriving industries of automotive manufacturing, aerospace manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, cold storage and food processing, medical research, education, and others. As a multi-level industry, it processes vegetables, citrus fruits, and cotton, and is also a leading winter resort.

The median household income in McAllen is $ 38, 220, and the cost of living stands at 12% less than the national average.


According to 2019 statistics, over 75% of people in McAllen have graduated high school or possess equal relevant credentials. 25% of the people either dropped out of school or have no education. 30% of the people have a bachelor’s or higher degree, and almost 26% of the people in McAllen have some associate degree. 82% of students in McAllen are enrolled in public schools.  


McAllen has a subtropical climate, featuring short, warm winters and long, humid, hot summers. The summers have an average temperature of 70 °F to 90 °F. From May through September, the temperature often exceeds 110 °F. From January to August, temperatures range between 60 °F and 88 °F. May to October feature a wet season, while the rest of the year is dry.

Tourist Attractions

The shopping districts of McAllen draw millions of tourists to the city every year. With its low living cost, mild, winters, tropical breeze, and bright birds, it is a popular tourist spot. Some of the tourist attractions include International Museum of Art and Science, La Plaza Mall, McAllen Botanical Gardens, McAllen Convention Center, and Historic Cine El Rey Theatre.



The US-Mexico border has several pairs of neighboring cities, which are part of international “borderplexes”. The Reynosa-McAllen region is also one such area, with Reynosa being situated in Mexico and McAllen a part of the US territory. Both of these cities depend on each other for their economies, which are derived through cross-border trade and tourism. McAllen distributes a lot of the products manufactured in Reynosa, and Reynosa employs labor to produce products for the broader American market.