Valley's colonia residents brace for a chilly night

Members of a non-profit group made it their mission to alert the poorest residents of Hidalgo County to bundle up in the face of freezing temperatures.

Many of the Rio Grande Valley's poorest residents live in rural 'colonias' where they don't have television or the internet.

San Juanita Martinez and Nasaria Garcia went door to door alerting people in Las Milpas to bundle up.

Martinez and Garcia are from "A Resource In Serving Equality" or ARISE.

They said it's their mission to inform the community in this colonia of the cold conditions that could be threatening if the residents don't have the means to stay warm.

Since many people who live here don't have a television they depend on people like San Juanita and Nasaria.

Many people here in Las Milpas don't have central heating.

Instead, they use small space heaters, and staff from ARISE said it's important to let them know about the cold blast.

Diana Perez has four children at home.

The youngest has the flu.

Perez said he got it once the cold weather hit.

She said she just bought a portable heater in hopes he doesn't get worse.

"We bought a small heater, and it does heat the room a little but it's still really cold at night," said Perez.

Perez's mother, Yolanda, doesn't have any heat at home, so for the time being she's staying with her daughter.

"It's so cold and it's going to get even colder," she said.

Diana and Yolanda haven't taken their eyes off the television.

They have it tuned in to the weather to make sure they're prepared with enough blankets especially for the little ones.

"Poor kids|with the weather getting so cold," said Yolanda.

Yolanda said she'll send her son to buy another portable heater to keep warm, but she worries for those who can't afford the small appliance and how they will get through the freezing nights ahead.