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Laredo was founded in the late 18th Century by the Spanish as part of what was then called New Spain. The town was named after a city in the Spanish region of Santander on the country's northern coast. At the time just a small farming community, Laredo became part of Mexico in 1821 when it declared its independence from Spain. By 1840, its people unhappy with the Mexican government, Laredo became part of the new Republic of the Rio Grande, an independent nation including parts of northern Mexico and Southern Texas which existed less than a year.
Returning to Mexico, Laredo was then caught up in the Mexican-American war in 1845 when the U.S. claimed Texas. Laredo eventually became part of Texas, with those who wanted to remain Mexican citizens moving across the Rio Grande to what was then named Nuevo Laredo.
Today Laredo is a bustling, thriving border town, its people still having family in and strong ties to Mexico. Hundreds of people pass through the town traveling to or from Mexico each day.