Awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the funds will be used to develop the “Explore Rio Grande Valley” program


HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas—Today, Congressmen Filemon Vela (TX-34), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $350,000 investment to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC) for the development of its “Explore Rio Grande Valley” marketing program and mobile application. The funding will be used to diversify tourist products while also helping to create a national and international brand that will enhance the tourism in Hidalgo County and the State of Texas. The U.S. Economic Development Administration projects that this funding will create 25 new jobs in the Rio Grande Valley alone.  The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council will match this grant with $150,000 in in-kind and matching funds for a total investment of $500,000.

"I am excited the creation of 'Explore Rio Grande Valley' will showcase all of the rich history and beauty of South Texas," said Rep. Vela. "I would like to thank the EDA for providing the LRGVDC with this wonderful opportunity." 

“The secret is out. The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most beautiful destinations in the State of Texas. With this investment, the rest of the country will finally realize what us South Texas residents have known all along,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I am especially pleased to hear about the anticipated creation of 25 jobs. I thank the Economic Development Administration for awarding this prestigious grant to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council and look forward to continuing this partnership in the future.”

“The Rio Grande Valley is a vibrant and growing region rich in culture and natural resources,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “With this grant we will have the opportunity to share our diverse communities and traditions with the rest of the nation and we will continue to thrive. Thank you to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for investing in the Rio Grande Valley and recognizing our enormous potential and all that our area has to offer this country.”

“We are thrilled that have the opportunity to facilitate this collaborative regional project with all our partners and stakeholders that will create a universal marketing platform to highlight our region’s vast natural assets and attractions.  We’d like to thank EDA for their continuous support and economic investment into the Lower Rio Grande Valley.” Said Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council Executive Director Ron Garza.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce that provides grants and technical assistance to communities in order to generate new employment, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth through a variety of investment programs. The “Explore Rio Grande Valley” investment is projected to help the Rio Grande Valley create strategies to strengthen the region’s agriculture and aquaculture assets while also promoting economic and human capital development.