What is it like to live in the Big Bend Region? How Community, Safety, and Quality of Life make a life worth living in Far West Texas.

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Photo courtesy of Paul Slocomb

The Big Bend region is reminiscent of a lost era and tends to attract people who want to escape the hustle of the city and who value a slow-paced, quality-filled life. Community, Safety and Quality of Life are so important to the people of the area, that these three aspects of West Texas life were identified as a single, shared core conservation value of the region by the Tri-County Stakeholder Advisory Group of the Respect Big Bend coalition. This group is comprised of community members and landowners of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. They are at the core of the Respect Big Bend effort, and they represent the people of the area.

Most residents enjoy living in Far West Texas, because of the feelings they have when they are here. In this region there is still a feeling of Wild West, and it’s one of the few areas of the United States where you can still find genuine cowboys. But alongside those cowboys, you’ll find free spirits, those that are fashion forward, life-long locals, snowbirds and just a little bit of everything in between. One of the best parts of this eclectic mix of individuals is the feeling of community between West Texas residents.

While most news is spread by word of mouth, social media community chats have become the staple for local news, lost pets, misplaced packages, general knowledge about the towns and even kind words for those who have passed. These community chats keep everyone informed, connected and cared for, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety is an important part of West Texas life, and in the Big Bend region, residents do not take the feeling of being safe for granted. The local police station, sheriff’s offices, Sul Ross State University campus police, and Border Patrol provide residents a sense of safety and trust.

Texans, and especially West Texans, also value their safety through private property rights and their right to own and/or carry firearms. Self-protection is widely respected and practiced in West Texas. Even with all of these forms of safety, friends and neighbors of the region still have each other’s backs. The sense that people of the community look out for each other enhances the feeling of safety and the quality of life of residents in the region.

There are many reasons for moving all the way out west. Many residents move to the area to escape the fast-paced city and enjoy a slower-paced, more fulfilling life. Some people come to the region to retire, while others buy or build second homes for a seasonal escape. While the Big Bend region is remote, the community-based organizations in the area are incredibly active. Local food banks and pantries, Meals on Wheels, humane societies, chambers of commerce, visitors’ centers and many more organizations actively work to better the unique communities for the local people.

Additionally, community-based events such as the Alpine Cowboy baseball games, local rodeos, farmers markets and festivals bring people of the community together. Overall, it is a slow-paced, neighborly, community-rich place to live, and it is no wonder that people come here to escape but also feel connected.

Chambers of Commerce
City Councils
County Commissioners Courts
Rotary Clubs
Lions Clubs
The Alpine o6 Cowboys professional baseball team
Community centers
Food banks
Museum of the Big Bend
Meals on Wheels
Sul Ross State University
Public school districts
Healthcare facilities
Grocery stores

Read more about the latest Respect Big Bend report here: https://respectbigbend.org/final-report

The Respect Big Bend coalition was launched by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, and is sponsored in part by the Permian Basin Area Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, and the Still Water Foundation. Find out more about the project at RespectBigBend.org.


Often, you can find a rainbow after the rain. This is picture was taken in Alpine.


In Far West Texas the local law encorcement work hard to keep the communities safe. Yet self-protection is widely respected and practiced when needed.


The Big Bend region may be remote, but there is a lot of events to keep residents and visitors entertained, like 06 Cowboys baseball games.