“It's a badge of honor,” says Genho, who himself is not a Kineño, nor will ever be. To be a true Kineño, one must be born, raised and work on the ranch — for generations. Genho figures that if his son were to spend the rest of his life on the ranch, then have kids that are raised and then work there, either those kids or their kids might finally qualify as Kineños.

“About half of my people here are descended from those original Kineño families. The seventh generation of some of those families are working here,” says Genho. “There was a bond between the King family and the Kineños from the beginning. That bond and the Kineños are an integral part of the ranch's history and its future.”

The mutual respect that brought them together in the first place grew, remains today and has significantly influenced the culture of King Ranch.

In earlier times, wages for Mexican vaqueros were lower than those for other cowboys, except on the King Ranch. While other cowboys were seasonal workers and were fired when they weren't needed, the vaqueros on the King Ranch had year-round jobs. And unlike other old cowboys who were on their own, old Kineños moved on to less demanding jobs on the King Ranch.

Today, the ranch has 401(k)s, retirement plans and medical insurance for its employees, and it remains a community that takes care of its own in unique ways. Many of the Kineños live in homes on the ranch, and the ranch has its own school district with a K-8 school right on the ranch. Kineño children go to their own high school at Texas A&M in Kingsville.