In general, colonias (Spanish pronunciation: [koˈlonjas]) are neighborhoods in Mexican cities, which have no jurisdictional autonomy or representation. It is plausible that the name, which literally means colony, arose in the late 19th, early 20th centuries, when one of the first urban developments outside Mexico City's core was inhabited by a French colony in the city. Usually colonias are assigned a specific postal code; nonetheless, in recent urban developments, gated communities are also defined as colonias and share the postal code with adjacent neighborhoods. In spite of this, the name of the colonia must be specified when writing an address in large urban areas in Mexico.
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